Elin Toona

© Kris Moor

Elin Toona (1937) is an Estonian poet, prose writer and cultural historian, one of the most remarkable writers in exile, who has written in both Estonian and English. Forced to flee Estonia in 1944, Toona’s life took her to Germany, the United Kingdom, Singapore, the Bahamas, United States, and in 2021, she returned to her homeland. Such an extraordinary life has given Toona reason to write about it repeatedly and in various ways, placing her own life in the greater streams of history. The importance of Toona’s literary legacy is evident in one of the most important events of the upcoming theatre summer – produced by Mari-Liis Lill and Priit Põldma, the play Üks helesinine tuvi is based on the writer’s memoirs and autobiographical works Lotukata (1969), Kolm valget tuvi (1992), Ella (2018) and Pagulusse. Lugu, elust, sõjast ja rahust (2017), and it will be brought to the stage in the Uuemõisa manor by the Estonian Drama Theatre. The story centres on three women – seven-year-old Elin, her mother, actress Liki Toona, and grandmother Ella Enno, the widow of renowned poet Ernst Enno, searching for a home in a world that is becoming undone at the seams. Pagulusse. Lugu elust, sõjast ja rahust won the annual literary prize of the Estonian Cultural Endowment in 2017. In addition to writing about herself, her mother and her grandmother, Elin Toona has also written about her grandfather Ernst Enno (Rõõm teeb taeva taga tuld. Ernst Enno, 2020). Elin Toona will talk to actress Teele Pärn, who plays her in the upcoming production, and the head of Drama Theatre’s Literature Department Ene Paaver.

Performs at

Date Event Name Location
Friday, 31 May at 19:00 Elin Toona, Teele Pärn and Ene Paaver Estonian Writers’ Union

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