Based on the letters Sinyavsky wrote to his wife during his incarceration in a succession of forced-labor camps, A Voice from the Chorus ranks with the famous testimonies Dostoevsky and Solzhenitsyn dispatched from their ""houses of the dead."" Though by no means as painful in its depiction of prison life, this ""writer's diary"" has a haunting, totally affecting quality, holding the reader with the astuteness of its comments on art and character and the exemplary, strangely serene spirit with which Sinyavsky accepted his terrible fate. Sinyavsky was sentenced to seven years in Siberia for having secretly published ""dissident"" works in the West under the pseudonym Abram Tertz. His ""revenge"" here is to say nothing whatever about his oppressors, but everything about the humanist and religious culture their regime denies him and his countrymen. With lucidity and compression (there is a matchless three-page summary of Hamlet), Sinyavsky ranges from Russian fairy tales to Matisse, from Rembrandt to Poe and Pushkin, from church architecture to the Apollo Belvedere. A memorable and unique document.