Books: Remission from Fear

THE CANCER WARD by Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn. Translated by Rebecca Frank. 616 pages. Dial. $8.50.

Barely a month after the launching of The First Circle (TIME cover, Sept. 27), Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's Cancer Ward has been published in an English translation. As a special kind of literary import, it stands partially obscured by the excess political baggage that has accompanied it. The kinds of labels inevitably suggested by the advance publicity are gross and distracting: savage expose of Stalinism; revealing political microcosm; old cold-war propaganda. The reader is thus challenged to slip past the...

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