Hilary Bird’s Introduction to Estonian Literature is truly a pioneering work, and a welcome contribution for anyone with an interest in the lively and flourishing literature of this small but culturally vibrant country. Ms. Bird’s coverage is not merely of the modern writers, some of whose work is available in English translation, but also of literature in the Estonian language from the earliest times, which has been a closed book up to now to anyone without a knowledge of the language.
School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London
It is very rare to find a collection of texts from a “minor literature” as splendidly translated, contextualized, and introduced as Hilary Bird’s current book. Estonian literature has waited only too long for such a scholarly and spirited selection, complete with thoroughly researched, beautifully accessible background material.
Dr. Tiina Ann Kirss
Tartu University and Estonian Literary Museum (Tartu)
Estonia is a small nation in terms of population, but large culturally and spiritually. In this way we have brought to life the wish of the great Estonian National Awakening figure Jakob Hurt. It isn’t easy for a small nation with a unique language to be visible in the big wide world. Therefore, every translation and act of cultural mediation is important to us, and Hilary Bird’s personal effort deserves special praise and thanks. Her anthology brings English readers a selection of Estonian literature representative of the earliest periods through to the present. I wish readers the joy of discovery and lots of success to the book.
Tartu Institute (Toronto)