Welcome to the Database of Estonian Writers
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A

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 ... >>

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 ... >>

K

Bernard Kangro

1910 - 1994 

There was a writer without whom the Estonian intellectual space in post-war exile would not have been the same. Bernard Kangro was one of those who formed the quintessence of exile literature. In his homeland his name was during the Soviet ... >>

Albert Kivikas

1898 - 1978 

Albert Kivikas (1898-1978) had three quite distinct roles in Estonian literary history. He is one of the major authors in Estonian literature to have experimented with futurism, with pieces meant to irritate the petit bourgeois. The collection ... >>

L

Ilmar Laaban

1921 - 2000 

Ilmar Laaban is often called the father of Estonian Surrealism. A mentor for some fascinating followers, he is still unparallelled in his ways of playing with a language with pure joy, and with that discovering and showing the hidden treasures of ... >>

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 ... >>

Oskar Luts

1887 - 1953 

Oskar Luts (1887-1953), one of the Estonian most beloved authors, was simple and paradoxical, externally an enjoyable comic and a real man of the people, internally amazingly captivating. He wrote, moving “the ear of the heart”. ... >>

R

Karl Ristikivi

1912 - 1977 

Karl Ristikivi is among the best writers of Estonia, and even as a young man he was considered the literary successor of Estonia´s great writer A. H. Tammsaare. He did not betray the confidence his readership had in him, becoming one of the ... >>

S

Herman Sergo

1911 - 1989 

Herman Sergo, a ship´s captain and a writer, wrote about the world he knew every inch of: the life of old salts from the seas and the people of the seaside villages of Hiiumaa, the second biggest island of Estonia. His father was a seaman, ... >>

Gustav Suits

1883 - 1956 

Gustav Suits is one of Estonia’s greatest poets, and in a sense he occupies an especially significant position in our literature. Suits published the first truly groundbreaking collections of Estonian poetry of the 20th century; he was the ... >>

T

Heiti Talvik

1904 - 1947 

Heiti Talvik's laconic poetry has been called a "concentrate of eternal sadness". One of his devices is fire: yet, while every fire one day burns down to ash, Talvik's poems seems to be smoldering just as strongly as when they impacted the world, ... >>

A. H. Tammsaare

1878 - 1940 

Anton Hansen-Tammsaare is the grand old man of Estonian literature, and without doubt Estonia’s most famous writer. He was able to enshrine something deeply humane, binding the nation together with its land, writing the ambivalent myth of ... >>

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 ... >>

U

Marie Under

1883 - 1980 

Marie Under was for long years more like a holy myth – almost a mythical saint, far away in exile. Under was the one who embodied the community spirit of a little nation, becoming a natural symbol of it, homely and uniting, and, as the ... >>

V

Eduard Vilde

1865 - 1933 

Eduard Vilde was the first Estonian prose writer to achieve classic status, and he has thereby come to be regarded as the most eminent. He was 'first' in many ways – to write bulky original novels such as the huge historical works Mahtra ... >>

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