ESTONIAN WEEK – TWO BOOK LAUNCHES AND MUSIC

ESTONIAN WEEK – TWO BOOK LAUNCHES AND MUSIC

PARTICIPANTS: MARI SAAT, KRISTIINA EHIN, SILVER SEPP, JÁVORSZKY BÉLA AND DÁNÉL MÓNA

Economist and a forest fairy, soviet housing blocs and ancient Finno-ugric roots. Mari Saat and Kristiina Ehin represent two different generations of Estonian women in literature and are like night and day.

In many of her works, Mari Saat sharply analyses social issues through very sensitive characters and manages to go deep into the mind of her characters in a profound and captivating way. With the novel Lasnamäe lunastaja (The Saviour of Lasnamäe, 2008), one of the highlights of that year, Saat became unintentionally the spokesperson of the Estonian Russians. The heroine of the novel, Natalja Filippovna is a Russian woman in her forties, having once come to Tallinn as a wife of a Soviet Army officer. Natalja finds herself suddenly unemployed and facing the hard reality of being a single mother without speaking the official language of the country she ended up in.

Kristiina Ehin, albeit seeing life in brighter colours, is by no means any less sensitive about the world than Saat. Her poems and prose are clearly written from a woman's point of view. The deep spiritual feeling in her sensitive and airy poetry is very earthy and strong with roots in Finno-Ugric culture. Ehin has great reverence for nature, and celebrates her womanhood in her work. The love between man and woman, Fire and Water is also a recurring theme which she writes about with her characteristic honesty. Her latest poetry also has another focus, the deep feeling of a mother´s love towards her child. She was recently elected as the first Tartu city writer and her opinion is valued by many.

Both writers were translated into Hungarian last year by the accomplished translator Béla Jávorszky.

We will be joined by Mari Saat for the first part of the evening where we will discuss her book. The second part of the evening is reserved for Kristiina Ehin and her husband Silver Sepp. Silver Sepp is a singer-songwriter who can produce interesting sounds and music out of almost anything from bicycle wheels to wooden sticks covered with nails. His songs are deeply connected to nature and folk traditions. Their performance is improvised and can vary depending on the audience and the overall mood.

Both „The Saviour of Lasnamäe“ and Ehin’s collection of poems were published last year by Magyar Napló Publishing House and can be purchased at the event.

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