Tiia Toomet

Tiia Toomet (1947) is an Estonian prose writer, poet and children’s author. Her literary debut, the children’s poetry book Kuhu need värvid jäävad (Where Are These Colours, Eesti Raamat, 1975) was written with her husband Jaan Kaplinski. Her 1983 book Vana aja lood (Stories of Old Times, Eesti Raamat) is about the things used by our ancestors and through that, their everyday lives. It can be said that this focus has played a more significant role in Toomet’s life and Estonian culture – it was on her initiative that the Toy Museum was opened in Tartu in 1994, and Toomet was its first director for a long time. When it comes to her work for adults, her collection of short stories Isamaa suvi (The Summer of the Fatherland, Ilmamaa, 1997) is perhaps most notable, and its autobiographical titular story is one of the most significant in Estonian literature of the re-independence era. The historian Linda Kaljundi has called it one of the most striking records of the national reawakening period. The story is set in the summer of 1988 and includes the heritage protection movement, night song festivals, bringing out blue, black and white national flags, and other events of that intense summer. In 2009, Kajar Pruul compiled an anthology of short stories published from 1991-2008 and borrowed its title from Toomet’s story. Tiia Toomet will talk to writer Leelo Tungal.

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