Conflict & Justice

Vermont neighbor reflects on Solzhenitsyn

SB remembers that when the Solzhenitsyn moved to town, it was a pretty big deal: Solzhenitsyn bought some property and surrounded the entire property with a fence which was a big deal to the local population. There was speculation about what was going on behind the fence and he had guards. Not too long after they moved, I started hanging out with his stepson who was my age and eventually I was allowed inside the compound. Going in for the first time was a bit beyond exciting for me because I was 14 or 15. (Did you know much about him?) We knew he was a famous writer who had won the Nobel Prize but we didn't know what for though. When I went in the house, his mother did most of the speaking in English and translated for Solzhenitsyn. He preferred not to speak English, so he would greet me and smile and nod. (What about outside the confines of their home?) There was a small store in town and he would come in regularly and he greeted people but he didn't speak English so there wasn't much conversation, but he was very polite and cordial. We also guarded his privacy, help him guard his privacy, because there were a lot of tourists who would come to see him and we would point them in the wrong direction.

Player utilities

This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.