I was proper excited when I stumbled across a small poetry section in Rahva Raamat, a bookstore in Tallinn at the back of a swanky shopping centre, where young and fashionable Estonian girls hang out, pout, flick their straight, pale blonde hair back over their slight shoulders and push their pooches back into their handbags. The men are nearly as bad, with their immaculate chinos and styled quiffs. The first book I picked up was The Drums of Silence by Kristiina Ehin, one of Estonia’s most respected poets. She had me after I’d scanned a single page of her astonishingly brilliant book. I’d already decided that I wanted to interview Ehin before I’d reached the counter. (For the record, books are about the same price as they are in England, unfortunately. Else I would have splurged out and bought all her other works.) I’m going to write a review of the book once I’ve re-read it.
I decided to buy The Dedalus Book of Estonian Literature for numerous reasons. One, because I’m always on the prowl to find ways in which to build my knowledge on literature and writers from other countries. This book seems the perfect thing to help me do exactly that, brimming with fiction from the end of the nineteenth century right until the present day. I bloody adore the illustration on the front, too. I first encountered Juri Arrak’s work when I discovered the Estonian folk band Metsatoll, who have intertwined their music with his imagery.