I just finished Alexander Solzhenitsyn's Cancer Ward in the Modern Library reprint. His first published work One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich was printed in the Soviet literary publication, Novy Mir. Oddly enough, Khruschev himself intervened in order to have this work published, since it detailed life in Stalinist prison camps and Khruschev was for anything which made him look better than Stalin (which, incidentally, is not hard to do). Solzhenitsyn became an overnight sensation in the Soviet Union.
However, the Soviet literary circles did not look kindly on Solzhenitsyn after the publication of One Day. In the edition of Cancer Ward that I have, there are records reproduced of Solzhenitsyn's appearance before the Soviet literary committee. It's interesting reading since it gives us a glimpse of the thinking of totalitarian Soviet system in regards to censorship.
With all of the flaws of the United States, and with all of the perversion that exists in our media, I am still grateful that we have fairly liberal views of censorship in America. This freedom of the press that we have enables us to publish opinions that run counter to the culture and there are no repercussions. We can write Gospel tracts, books on evangelism and Bible study, and blogs about thinking, biblical Christianity. The drawback is the amount of filth which our freedoms allow. But at least we have a voice to counter the poison that is out there with the truth.
That is far more than Solzhenitsyn had in his own country. Solzhenitsyn is most famous for his three volume work, The Gulag Archipelago, which details prison life in the former Soviet Union. It was this work which got him exiled from the USSR to the United States. Apparently it was one thing to criticize Stalinist camps; it was another to expose the flawed Communist system that the camps personified.
Cancer Ward gives a chilling depiction of life in Soviet cancer wards and also exposes the flaws of the Communist system. He deals with the themes of life and death in a masterful way, even if from a humanistic viewpoint. It's easy to see why the Soviets were threatened by its publication. It was never published in the Soviet Union.