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"Brecht at Night" by Mati Unt [BTBA 2010 Fiction Longlist]

Over the next two days, we’ll be highlighting a book a day from the Best Translated Book Award fiction longlist. Click here for all past write-ups. Brecht at Night by Mati Unt. Translated from the Estonian by Eric Dickens. (Estonia, Dalkey Archive) Below is a guest post from Bill Marx — the man behind ...

New Nordic Blog and "The Normaliser"

Nordic Voices is an interesting addition to the lit blog world. Run by three British literary translators (who combined translate from Finnish, Swedish, Russian, and Estonian), the goal of the blog is to bring more attention to Nordic literature (beyond the thrillers) and related translation issues. The site is still ...

David Bergelson: From Modernism to Socialist Realism

Literature written in Yiddish has been one of the unluckiest in modern history. The language was regarded for several centuries as a kind of kitchen patois, spoken by people towards the lower end of Jewish society in Eastern and Central Europe. Just as it was emerging as a serious literary language, those writing in it were ...

Latest Review: David Bergelson: From Modernism to Socialist Realism

Our latest review is Eric Dickens’ examination of David Bergelson: From Modernism to Socialist

Obituary: Jaan Kross

Eric Dickens—translator of Kross and his fellow countryman Mati Unt, along with many other writers—offered to write an obituary of Jaan Kross for us. As Dickens points out, this is more than just an obituary—it’s also an overview of one of Estonia’s great writers who is hardly known in the ...

New Review Added

Our latest review is of Viivi Luik’s The Beauty of History translated from the Estonian by Hildi Hawkins. This review is written by Eric Dickens, who has done his fair share of translating from Estonian. Most recently he did Mati Unt’s Things in the Night for Dalkey Archive Press, and will be doing Unt’s ...

The Beauty of History

As a teenager, I watched on TV the crushing of the Prague Spring by Soviet tanks. The year was 1968. The Soviet Union put an end to an attempt by a purportedly sovereign state to introduce a milder brand of Communism. Conscripts from the Baltic republics were also forced to take part in this blatant act of Soviet ...