Kärt Hellerma has written short stories, novels, travelogues, poetry, children’s books, and published a wealth of literary criticism. Born in Tallinn in 1956, she graduated from Tartu University, majoring in journalism. Prior to starting as a freelance writer, Hellerma was the cultural editor for several publications, a television reporter, journalist, and literary critic. The debut was belated and mature: her first novel, Alkeemia (Alchemy), was published in 1997. Hellerma has been a member of the Writers’ Union since 2002. 

Her fictional style is easily recognisable: lengthy, structured, detail unfolding sentences, somewhat dreamy in their nature, maintaining her ironic idealism and sensitive social criticism. In critical appraisal, Hellerma’s oeuvre has also been called an anatomical textbook of the feminine soul. Thoughtful yet lively poetry works (first collection in 2015) draw together recent temporal, contemplative and nature poems. Hellerma writes poetically, with a linguistic intuition. 

Her essays, short stories, fiction, articles and criticism, as well as extracts of novels, have been translated into Finnish, Swedish, English, Russian, Czech and Latvian. Hellerma has been recognised for her literary criticism and has been awarded the August Gailit Short Story Prize.


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