Eia Uus was born in Estonia’s western Noarootsi region in 1985 and studied in Thailand as a high school exchange student. Several years spent in Asia on a scholarship inspired the author to write her debut novel Kuu külm kuma (The Moon’s Cold Glow, 2005) – a pained work for young adults that was also influenced by The Journals of Sylvia Plath and was compared to the novel by Marguerite Duras’s, The Lover. The work, the protagonist of which seeks an escape from inner darkness and despair, won the Eduard Vilde Prize for Literature. 

Uus studied Estonian language and literature at Tallinn University, earned a master’s degree in literature, and currently runs a publishing house. Having lived in France, Argentina, China, and Canada, she has written two books reflecting on life as an expatriate and a third that was released as a sequel. Uus has also published poetry, short stories, a children’s book, and a play. 

In 2019, Uus’s fourth novel Tüdrukune (What It Feels Like for a Girl) received third place in the Estonian Writers’ Union’s novel-writing competition and was subsequently published. It explores life as a woman in our masculine society, illustrated through different generations’ attitudes towards relationships and lesbian attraction. One of the more compelling storylines is the challenges the main character faces as a campaign manager for a female candidate for prime minister in an unforgiving political arena. The reception of Uus’s novel was turbulent and sparked discourse on social issues that dearly need to be addressed in Estonia and elsewhere – such as trauma from sexual harassment suffered during childhood and the depiction of women in vacuous gossip magazines. Readers are also tantalized by a sphinxlike secondary character of intriguing importance to the story’s axis.     

Eia Uus became a member of the Estonian Writer’s Union in 2019 and leads a popular book club.


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