Welcome to the Database of Estonian Writers
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AUTHORS OF:
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A

Kai Aareleid

1972 

Prosaist and poetess Kai Aareleid made her debut in 2011 with the novel Vene veri (Russian Blood). The work, which was praised for its form, language, and themes, was nominated for Estonia’s most prestigious award for prose. In ... >>

Betti Alver

1906 - 1989 

Betti Alver's works of poetry are demanding and masterful in form: they are based in the classical European poetry tradition, although they contain quintessential Estonian-ness both in terms of language and a folk-poetic background. Her poetry ... >>

B

Maimu Berg

1945 

Maimu Berg began her career as an author relatively late in life when she published Kirjutajad. Seisab üksi mäe peal (Writers. Standing Alone on the Hill, 1988) where she takes up the theme of 19th-century cultural history in a rather ... >>

E

Andres Ehin

1940 - 2011 

What is surrealism? If it is a historical movement restricted to a small circle of French poets, who gathered around André Breton in the nineteen-twenties, then there would be no more surrealists anywhere else in the world. But if ... >>

Kristiina Ehin

1977 

Kristiina Ehin, born into a family of poets (1977 in Rapla) has become one of the most successful poets of the younger generation. Her fourth and most voluminous collection of poems, Kaitseala (Protected Area, 2005), written during a year spent ... >>

Jüri Ehlvest

1967 - 2006 

Jüri Ehlvest was one of the most exciting and mysterious authors to feature in recent Estonian prose. His works attracted a great deal of attention over the past decade and he received several literary awards. On two occasions, Ehlvest ... >>

G

August Gailit

1891 - 1960 

August Gailit was a writer of exuberant imagination, a late neo-romanticist, whose entire output focuses on the eternal opposition of beauty and ugliness. He is immediately recognisable by his style, which probably leaves nobody indifferent. Born ... >>

H

Mehis Heinsaar

1973 

Mehis Heinsaar is one of the rising stars of recent Estonian literature. Though originally he aspired to become a long-distance runner, writing soon took over: he moved on to writing poetry, making his debut as a poet belonging to the literary ... >>

Indrek Hirv

1956 

Indrek Hirv is a true poet. Evidence of this lies in the fact that Hirv feels that poetry is the only way to make contact with the world. He has also worked in ceramics, but Hirv is better known as a poet – a virtuoso. The poet, who follows ... >>

Andrei Hvostov

1963 

Andrei Hvostov (b. 1963) studied history at the University of Tartu and has worked for almost 20 years as a journalist. Hvostov has a different way of approaching Estonia’s history in his books – a certain wish to see Estonia from an ... >>

I

Peep Ilmet

1948 

Peep Ilmet made his debut in 1969 in the Õitsev tuul (Blossoming Wind) edition of a samizdat magazine, Kamikadze. He was one of the most fertile authors of underground manuscript almanacs at that time. The conditional point marking the ... >>

Andrei Ivanov

1971 

Andrei Ivanov (b. 24/12/1971) sees himself as part of the Russian literary tradition, but identifies with Estonia as his home country and his creative point of departure. He graduated from Tallinn pedagogical university as a Russian philologist, ... >>

J

Ilmar Jaks

1923 

Ilmar Jaks is an author characterized as poetic, ironic, paradoxical, unexpected – and without a doubt one of the Estonian authors whose Second World War was most adventurous. Jaks was born in 1923 in Western Estonia as a son of a teacher, ... >>

Jaak Jõerüüt

1947 

Jaak Jõerüüt is a writer, politician and diplomat, who began his career as a hippie poet in Tallinn cafés. Jõerüüt made his debut with poetry in 1967; his first collection Kaitsekiht (Protection Layer) was ... >>

K

Holger Kaints

1957 

Holger Kaints is the first receiver of the Wordwormer Prize (in 2009) for the best and the most fascinating book having appeared between the two Feasts of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Estonia. He is absolutely original both in his ... >>

Kätlin Kaldmaa

1970 

As a writer, Kätlin Kaldmaa seems to almost walk a razor-thin blade – her feminine identity is piercing and depthless, and she staunchly raises sharp social-critical topics. Kaldmaa constantly calls forth this sensitivity and ... >>

Teet Kallas

1943 

Teet Kallas is probably the writer every Estonian knows very well, as he has since 1996 been the scriptwriter of the country´s most well known TV drama serial Õnne 13 (13 Fortune Street) with a weekly audience of 250, 000 people. But ... >>

Maarja Kangro

1973 

Maarja Kangro came to the Estonian literary world as a translator of Umberto Eco, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Andrea Zanzotto and Valerio Magrelli from Italian, English and German, and became a poet somehow and somewhere through translating. Her ... >>

Mart Kangur

1971 

Mart Kangur, a poet, is a master of word-play, at the same time with deceptively very pure, clear and simple language, seeming to write with captivating inner enjoyment and engagement. His debut collection of poetry, Kuldne põli (Golden ... >>

Jaan Kaplinski

1941 

The most famous, significant and most translated Estonian writer today, Jaan Kaplinski, started his literary life as a poet in what are termed the Golden Sixties of Estonian literature. Kaplinski's poetry has been written by a European humanist ... >>

Doris Kareva

1958 

It is easy to say of Doris Kareva that she secures her place like a shining pearl in the strong tradition of Estonian women’s poetry. However, that would be to say that Doris Kareva is simply a very good poet; that she is a master who knows ... >>

Raimond Kaugver

1926 - 1992 

Raimond Kaugver was a true Estonian best-selling author from the mid-1960's until his death. He wrote novels, short stories, narratives, plays, and radio dramas. The print run of his novel Vana mees tahab koju (The Old Man Wants to Go Home) ... >>

Jan Kaus

1971 

Jan Kaus (b. 1971) is an author of postmodernist short stories, poetry and novels. Kaus studied pedagogy and philosophy at Tallinn University, is active as an artist illustrating poetry books, and has played bass guitar in an underground ... >>

Mart Kivastik

1963 

Mart Kivastik (born 1963) has written short stories and novels, essays, film scripts, plays and travel stories. His texts are just like a real living creature with its incomparable ability to leave a deep impression in the memory: they are ... >>

Andrus Kivirähk

1970 

Andrus Kivirähk is a most remarkably prolific, innovative and powerful figure on the Estonian literary scene of today, probably the most beloved and talented Estonian writer nowadays. He is a virtuoso who can easily shift from one style to ... >>

Madis Kõiv

1929 - 2014 

Madis Kõiv was a writer, physicist and philosopher, thinker and suggestive interpreter, who throughout his creative work concentrated with extraordinary talent on memory and the relativity of it. In his sequence Studia memoriae the ... >>

Armin Kõomägi

1969 

Armin Kõomägi arouses differing feelings in his audience, and was even labelled as a horror-story author after his debut collection of short stories titled Amatöör (Amateur, 2005) had appeared. He is a very successful ... >>

L

Juhan Liiv

1864 - 1913 

Juhan Liiv, one of Estonia’s greatest poets, was an exceptional literary artist for his time – he is seen as having been a lyrical genius; the contemporary of 20th-century greats Garcia Lorca, F. Pessoa, and T. S. Eliot. Common ... >>

M

Paavo Matsin

1970 

Paavo Matsin’s works are imbued with vivid, limitless fantasy; a toying with time, space, and history; as well as layers upon layers of added meaning and subtext. He exercises an incredibly dense prosaic language. However, irony and a warm ... >>

Ülo Mattheus

1956 

Ülo Mattheus has won important awards for his prose, and deserves to be regarded among the very best in Estonia. His debut collection, X maantee (Highway X, 1981), consisted of very fine-spun, sketchy but elaborate short stories. The title ... >>

Ene Mihkelson

1944 

Ene Mihkelson´s novel Ahasveeruse uni (The Dream of Ahasuerus, 2001) was regarded as the greatest Estonian novel of the end of the 20th century, but her next novel Katkuhaud (Plague Grave, 2007) has been already mentioned as the first grand ... >>

Mihkel Mutt

1953 

Mihkel Mutt, one of the most interesting Estonian authors, a serious conservative full of playfulness, unites in his work the English sense of humour and the core texts of Estonian culture. His novels, plays and short stories are characterized by ... >>

P

Eeva Park

1950 

Eeva Park began as the author of mood poems depicting nature, and has said that she mixed feeling and thought in her poetry, while her prose is a mixture of understanding and memory. In her short prose works there are shades of nostalgia, real ... >>

Rein Põder

1943 

Prosaist Rein Põder originates from the southernmost tip of Southern Estonia, and the locale is frequently an enchantingly perceptible landscape in his works as well. Born in 1943, he graduated from the University of Tartu in 1969 as a ... >>

Asta Põldmäe

1944 

Asta Põldmäe is one of Estonia's most captivating prosaists, and in addition is a very productive translator from Spanish and Finnish into her native tongue. Põldmäe was born in Puurmani, Tartu County in 1944. She ... >>

R

Rein Raud

1961 

Sometimes I have serious doubts about understanding what “growing up” really means. Perhaps this has something to do with the trajectory of my life being slightly distorted if judged by normal age-criteria and it seems I am getting ... >>

Toomas Raudam

1947 

As an author of psychological, experimental prose, Raudam´s works have been characterized as ‘psychohistory’. His prose is fragmentary and playful, often drawn to absurd, rich in intertextuality, warm and thoroughly ethical. He ... >>

Olev Remsu

1947 

Olev Remsu is a prosaist and a teacher of film dramaturgy. Born in Tartu in 1947, he graduated from the University of Tartu in the field of journalism, and finished scenarist- and director courses in Moscow.   The writer debuted with a ... >>

S

Mari Saat

1947 

Mari Saat (b. 1947) is an author among the very best in Estonian letters. Her very first book Katastroof (A Catastrophe, 1973) won the Friedebert Tuglas Short Story Award. Since then she has published short stories, novels and children’s ... >>

Peeter Sauter

1962 

Peeter Sauter (b. 1962) is an important name in Estonian short prose since 1990. He has studied drama at the Academy of Music and Theatre in Tallinn and at Liverpool John Moores University. His works include plays and film scripts, travel books ... >>

T

Ilmar Taska

1953 

In 2014 Ilmar Taska’s novella A Car Called Victory (Pobeda) won the short story category of the prize organised by the only journal in Estonia dedicated solely to fiction, Looming. Active in both the film and literary worlds, Taska was ... >>

Tarmo Teder

1958 

Tarmo Teder’s world is considered naturalistic, rough and mean, but it is not in fact lacking in humour, profound tragedy, warmth, dreams and everything else that constitutes good literature where, next to black and white, there is space ... >>

Mats Traat

1936 

Mats Traat is like a cornerstone of Estonian literature, impossible to imagine without his poetry and prose. He has been really prolific in both genres. In 2010, with a novel called Õelate lamp (The Lamp of the Wicked) he finished his ... >>

Friedebert Tuglas

1886 - 1971 

Friedebert Tuglas was a writer, critic, literary expert, and translator. Tuglas' short stories are unsurpassed: they are impressionist, later neo-romantic, feature a definite composition and are akin to myth, are picture-like, and grotesque. An ... >>

Ülo Tuulik

1940 

The writer Ülo Tuulik is the older twin brother of the writer and playwright Jüri Tuulik (1940–2014), and they were born as sons of a schoolteacher of a little fishing village on Abruka, a tiny Estonian island, of ... >>

U

Mati Unt

1944 - 2005 

Mati Unt, a writer, theatre director and essayist, belonged to the Golden Sixties of Estonian culture. He was the most delicate of Estonian prose authors, and his passion was the theatre, staging on the stage and in life. He possessed a very ... >>

V

Urmas Vadi

1977 

Urmas Vadi graduated in radio directing from Tallinn University. He has worked as a radio journalist, and is a writer, playwright and producer.Vadi was the youngest author to win the New Drama Competition with the children’s play, Varasta ... >>

Berk Vaher

1975 

Berk Vaher seems to follow the principle that fiction is most rewarding when it resists quick understanding, and therefore his perception of the world often results in a most interesting collage of text. His recent works are perhaps not as ... >>

Arvo Valton

1935 

Arvo Valton (Vallikivi) is one of those writers who began writing in the nineteen-sixties and, having already seen the worst sides of the Soviet occupation, did not have fear of it. He was fresh and humorous, then satirical and grotesque while ... >>

Enn Vetemaa

1936 - 2017 

Enn Vetemaa seems to be much more important for Estonian prose than is currently generally perceived. He belonged to the powerful literary generation of the nineteen-sixties, and every literature fan can learn something from Vetemaa, for the ... >>

Elo Viiding

1974 

Elo Viiding’s poetry (in her first three published collections she used the pseudonym Elo Vee) has undergone several sharp swings in form, yet her texts always remain recognizable and individual. In Viiding’s poetry one can speak of ... >>

Toomas Vint

1944 

Toomas Vint (b. 1944) is equally accomplished as a novelist and a painter of Magrittean landscapes. He has studied biology at the University of Tartu. His first book was a short story collection Kahel pool hekiga palistatud teed (On Both Sides of ... >>

Õ

Ervin Õunapuu

1956 

Ervin Õunapuu is a prose writer, scriptwriter and film director, playwright and an artist well known for his theatre sets and surrealist water-colours. In 1996 he published his first novel Olivia. Meistriklass (Olivia. Master Class), which ... >>

Ü

Kauksi Ülle

1962 

The poet and writer Kauksi Ülle is the central figure of the South Estonian regional movement. She has been equally active as a poet and as a promoter of her mother-tongue, and probably the most well-known author in the Võru dialect ... >>

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