Tiit Aleksejev and Meelis Friedenthal

Title: Content:
Time of Event:
Venue: Estonian Writers’ Union (see on map)
Event format:
  • Conversation with writer
Original language: Estonian
Add to Calendar:

Tiit Aleksejev

© Kris Moor

Tiit Aleksejev (1968) is an Estonian prose writer and playwright, and the long-time Chairman of the Estonian Writers’ Union (2016–2024). Aleksejev is trained as a historian, which is evident in his fiction, as it has taken inspiration from very different sources of the past. He has also taken a poetic look at the history of his homeland and Europe more broadly. Aleksejev has explored Estonian history on a very large temporal scope: his play Leegionärid (2010) takes a look at the most difficult moments of the 1940s; Tõlkija, which won the 2018 Friedebert Tuglas Short Story Award, describes the late life of pastor and Bible translator Adrian Virginius (1663–1706) in Tartu that has been overrun with the forces of Tsar Peter I; and his play Kuningad (2014) takes the readers to the 14th century, right in the middle of the events of the St George’s Night Uprising. Aleksejev’s best-known and most substantive work of fiction goes back even further both in time and space – to the First Crusade. Aleksejev describes this pivotal event in three novels: Palveränd (2008), Kindel linn (2011) and Müürideta aed (2018). The first book of his Crusades trilogy won Aleksejev the European Union Prize for Literature in 2010. Tiit Aleksejev will speak to Meelis Friedenthal.

View profile

Meelis Friedenthal

© Toomas Dettenborn

Meelis Friedenthal (1973) is an Estonian writer. Already his debut novel Kuldne aeg (2005) attracted attention and won third place in the 2004 novel competition. Friedenthal’s second novel Mesilased (2012) is a fascinating, historical and dream-like insight into life in Livonia and Tartu in the late 17th century. It became his fiction breakthrough and in 2013, he won the European Union Prize for Literature for the work. Friedenthal’s third novel Inglite keel (2016) is also set in Tartu and oscillates between the 17th century and the last decades of the 20th century. It is an intellectual and alchemic horror story with a strangely eerie atmosphere dominated by mysterious watermarks on old manuscripts and a bagpipe player with supernatural powers. His most recent book, Punkti ümber (2023), which won the Prose Prize of the Estonian Cultural Endowment, is inspired by the Estonian-born (life)artist Friedrich Jürgenson who recorded the voices of the dead. With this book, Friedenthal is expanding his geographic range, taking the reader to early 20th-century Odesa, Constantinople, Paris and other locations, to give a broader basis for his mystical-magical sensibility, erudition and visionary voice. Meelis Friedenthal will speak to Tiit Aleksejev.

View profile

Major Supporters

Back to Top