Meelis Friedenthal has defended a doctoral thesis on a 13th-century philosophical/theological manuscript at the University of Tartu. Having worked on the faculty of the Department of Theology, he is currently a senior researcher at the University of Tartu Library, where he focuses on 17th-century history of ideas.
Friedenthal gained recognition as a science-fiction writer: his first novel, Kuldne aeg (Golden Age, 2004), which represents the European sci-fi tradition and tells of the nightmarish world of Cronus, received third place in a 2004 novel competition. In 2005, his narrative Nerissa won the Stalker Award for Science Fiction. The author is a member of the editorial staff of online sci-fi magazine Algernon. His novel Mesilased (The Bees, 2012; in English translation The Willow King, 2017) speaks of the 17th century, and is a dreamlike story written with a historian’s sense for detail. The book is also equipped with an extended afterword by the author.
Meelis Friedenthal was chosen as the 2012 Estonian Writer of the Year. The novel Bees received the 2013 European Union Prize for Literature.