I've read a lot of Russian writers. Some of the deepest stories, most critical psychology and simple, good writing come out of that country. I thought I'd already read the best, but it's always a nice surprise to be blown away by a book you just ran into in a used bookstore, but had never heard of before.
I'd heard of the author, though, and read his most famous book. A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich made Alexander Solzhenitszn famous and was the only book of his that was permitted to be published in the Soviet Union in his lifetime. It's a great book, a life changer. But Cancer Ward is better.