Tiit Aleksejev (1968) is an Estonian prose writer and playwright. It is hardly surprising that Aleksejev, who trained as a historian, takes his subject matter from the past when writing fiction. However, his historical range is extremely wide. He is among those Estonian authors who have written about Estonian recent history – his best known play Legionaries (Leegionärid) takes a look at the most complicated moments of the 1940s. Yet his gaze reaches even further – the short story “Translator” (“Tõlkija”), which was recently awarded the Friedebert Tuglas Short Story Award, describes the final moments of pastor and Bible translator Adrian Virginius (1663-1706) in Tartu that had been occupied by Russian forces during the Great Northern War, while his Kings (Kuningad) takes inspiration from the St George’s Night Uprising of mid-14th century. Aleksejev’s best known and largest work goes even further back in time – the First Crusade. He describes the events of the crusade in three books; The Pilgrimage (Palveränd, 2008), Stronghold (Kindel linn, 2011) and Hortus Conclusus (Müürideta aed, 2019). In 2010, Aleksejev won the European Union Prize for Literature for his novels and plays. In 2016, Aleksejev was elected Chairman of the Estonian Writers’ Union. Tiit Aleksejev talks to writer Martin Algus.