Susan Luitsalu

In 2019, Susan Luitsalu (born in 1983) made a literary debut that received immediate distinction: her novel was nominated for the Cultural Endowment of Estonia’s Prize for Literature in the prose category and later earned her the Writer of the Year award. 

Luitsalu is an author, columnist, and television producer and editor. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and communication from the University of Tartu, a master’s in screenwriting from the Baltic Film and Media School, and trained as an outdoor guide at the Luua Forestry School. After living and working in Dubai for several years, she penned two travelogues about her globetrotting: Minu Dubai (My Dubai, 2018) and Minu maailm: Seiklused ei hüüa tulles (My World: Adventures Come Unannounced, 2020). The author’s very first published work was a 2010 collection of articles and blog posts titled Küsimused kõikidele vastustele (Questions to All Answers). 

The setting of Luitsalu’s first novel, Ka naabrid nutavad (Neighbors Also Cry, 2019) is a stylish and elite exurban housing development. Part ridiculous, part tragic, and brimming with black humor, the work centers around the arrogance, cruelty, domestic violence, and cyber bullying that is concealed – or rather revealed – by the parvenus’ glass walls. 

A sequel is also in the works. Luitsalu’s style demonstrates her savvy for human character, boundless passion for observation, and acute critical nerve in regard to societal issues. The author has remarked that as a producer of reality TV shows, she is constantly engaging in anthropological study – what we have here is thus a writer who never misses an opportunity to scrutinize the world as it is.

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