Aadu Hint

Novels Aadu Hint

Short stories



About Aadu Hint

Aadu Hint (given name Adolf Edmund Hint, 10. I 1910/28. XII 1909 – 26. X 1989) was a prose writer, who mostly treated the life of the coastal dwellers of the Estonian islands in his works.

He was born on the island of Muhu, and grew up in Lümanda parish on Saaremaa. He studied at Lümanda and Kuressaare. He worked as a teacher. He went along with the events of 1940. He was a member of the CPSU and of the National Assembly’s Chamber of Deputies (1940) and a deputy in the Supreme Soviet of the ESSR (1940–1947). From 1940 to 1941 he worked on several publications. When war broke out, he fled to the Soviet Union, where he worked in various places in jobs related to fishing. He was mobilised in 1942, and served as chief of the club of the supply regiment of the Rifle Corps; he was demobilised in 1943, and lived in Soviet Russia until autumn 1944. From 1944 to 1945 he was chairman of the Association of Estonian Fishing Co-operatives, and later a professional writer in Tallinn. From 1974 to 1984 he was chairman of the ESSR Book Society. In 1974 he was elected a deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. He was a member of the Writers’ Union from 1937. He was a Merited Writer of the ESSR in 1955, and a Merited People’s Writer of the ESSR in 1965. He won the Orders of Lenin and the Red Banner of Labour, and the Soviet Estonian State Prize in 1967 for the novel Tuuline rand (‘Windy Shore’, I-IV, 1951-1966) and the Fr. Tuglas Short Story prize in 1982 for the story Tiina(d) (‘Tiina(s)’, Looming, 1981). He was married to the writers Debora Vaarandi (1916-2007) and Minni Nurme (1917-1994). He had eight children, among them the writers Päärn Hint, Miina Hint and Eeva Park and the translator from Bulgarian Mare Zaneva. Aadu Hint died in Tallinn, and is buried in the Kihelkonna cemetery on Saaremaa.

What later became a classic of Soviet Estonian literature made its fictional debut in 1932 in the newspaper Vaba Maa with the prose piece Uus pidalitõbine (‘The New Leper’). The first novel, Pidalitõbi (‘Leprosy’, 1934) and the following one, Vatku tõbilas (‘The Leper Colony of Vatku’, 1936) deal with the theme of leprosy, charting, among other things, the fear and depression that accompany the disease. His noteworthy interest in psychological problems culminated in psychoanalytical standpoints of the novel Kuldne värav (‘The Golden Gate’, 1937).

A theme running through his works is maritime and coastal life, coastal people and fishermen. The life of seamen, for example, is dealt with in the novel Tulemees (Trimmer) (‘Man of Fire (Trimmer)’, 1939). His magnum opus is the four-part novel Tuuline rand (‘Windy Shore’; part I: 1951 (expanded version 1952), II: 1954, III: 1960, IV: 1966), which depicts the life of the Estonian people in decisive events of the first half of the 20th century. The main location is Saaremaa, concentrating on the Tihu family. The work offers a cross-section of different social strata, with strikingly lively portrayal of characters and rich language. The novel sequence develops from a panoramic novel of the first part to the stories of individual development in latter parts. The work, appearing over an extended period, at the same time marks changes in the aesthetic approach of both the author and society.

Hint has also written prose on historical and war themes, like in the collection Metshaned (‘The Wild Geese’, 1945); a selection of literary reportage is found in the collection Töömeeste portreed (‘Portraits of Working Men’, 1948). The documentary narrative Oma saar (‘One’s Own Island’, part I: 1977, parts I and II together: 1980) concentrates on the emigrants who fled from Estonia to Canada in 1905 for fear of retribution, and later migrated to the Soviet Union.
Of his plays, most attention has been given to the plays about fishermen, Tagaranna meeste kalakuunar (‘The Fishing Schooner of the Men of Tagaranna’, 1947) and Kuhu lähed, seltsimees direktor? (‘Where Are You Going, Comrade Director?’ 1949), which share a common cast of characters and which also confront the authoritarian style of management.

For children he published a historical narrative, Vesse poeg (‘The Son of Vesse’, 1948), a popular science story, Angerja teekond (‘The Path of the Eel’, 1950), and an allegorical fable, Hundid ja kitserahvas (‘The Wolves and the Goat-people’, 1956).

A. K. (Translated by C. M.)

Books in Estonian

Adolf Hint, Pidalitõbi. Tartu: Loodus, 1934, 227 lk. [Järgnevad trükid: 1972, 1978.]
Adolf Hint, Vatku tõbilas. Tartu: Eesti Kirjastuse Kooperatiiv, 1936, 275 lk. [Järgnevad trükid: 1972, 1978.]
Adolf Hint, Kuldne värav. Tartu: Eesti Kirjastuse Kooperatiiv, 1937, 392 lk. [2. trükk: 1979.]
A. Hint, Tulemees (Trimmer). Tartu: Noor-Eesti, 1939, 231 lk. [Järgnevad trükid: 1973, 1979.]
Tuuline rand. 1. Tallinn: Eesti Riiklik Kirjastus, 1951, 307 lk. [Järgnevad trükid: 1952, 1955, 1958, 1962, 1965, 1968, 1975.]
Tuuline rand. 2. Tallinn: Eesti Riiklik Kirjastus, 1954, 392 lk. [Järgnevad trükid: 1956, 1962, 1966, 1968, 1976.]
Tuuline rand. 3. Tallinn: Eesti Riiklik Kirjastus, 1960, 291 lk. [Järgnevad trükid: 1965, 1969, 1977.]
Tuuline rand. 4. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1966, 452 lk. [Järgnevad trükid: 1969, 1978.]

Metshaned. Jutte ja laaste. Tallinn: Ilukirjandus ja Kunst, 1945, 119 lk.
Töömeeste portreid. Tallinn: Ilukirjandus ja Kunst, 1948, 78 lk.
Viimane vandiraiuja. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1970, 222 lk.
Oma saar. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1977, 123 lk. [Järgnevad trükid: 1980, 1985.]
Saaremaa tütarlaps leidis koha. Jutud, näidend. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1987, 140 lk.

Tagaranna-meeste kalakuunar. Tallinn: Ilukirjandus ja Kunst, 1947, 91 lk.
Kuhu lähed, seltsimees direktor?. Tallinn: Ilukirjandus ja Kunst, 1949, 88 lk.
Saaremaa tütarlaps leidis koha. Jutud, näidend. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1987, 140 lk.

Children’s books
Angerja teekond. Tallinn: Eesti Riiklik Kirjastus, 1950, 72 lk. [Järgnevad trükid: 1953, 1975.]
Hundid ja kitserahvas. Tallinn: Eesti Riiklik Kirjastus, 1956, 20 lk. [2. trükk: 1988.]
Vesse poeg. Tallinn: Ilukirjandus ja Kunst, 1948, 68 lk. [Järgnevad trükid: 1960, 1974, 1986.]

Collected works
Kogutud teosed 1. kd. Tuuline rand I. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1975, 368 lk.
Kogutud teosed 2. kd. Tuuline rand II. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1976, 387 lk.
Kogutud teosed 3 kd. Tuuline rand III. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1977, 276 lk.
Kogutud teosed 4. kd. Tuuline rand IV. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1978, 436 lk.
Kogutud teosed 5. kd. Pidalitõbi. Vatku tõbilas. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1978, 269 lk.
Kogutud teosed 6. kd. Näidendid. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1979, 255 lk.
Kogutud teosed 7. kd. Kuldne värav. Tulemees. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1979, 360 lk.
Kogutud teosed 8. kd. Oma saar: jutte, novelle, laaste, lugusid, retsensioone, arutlusi-mõtisklusi, publitsistikat a. 1929-1979. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1980, 571 lk.

About Aadu Hint
Kalju Leht, Aadu Hint. Lühimonograafia. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1975, 152 lk.