Diana Leesalu

Novels Diana Leesalu

Diana Leesalu (born 1 XI 1982) is a writer, dramaturge and theatre director.

She was born in Põlva and acquired secondary education at Põlva Secondary School. In 2005, Leesalu completed her bachelor’s studies at the Estonian University of Life Sciences in the speciality of exploitation and protection of natural resources and worked thereafter at the Environmental Investment Centre. In 2008, she entered the Drama Department of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre to study dramaturgy and graduated in 2012. Since graduation from the Drama Department, Leesalu has worked at Tallinn City Theatre as a director and dramaturge. She also teaches dramaturgy at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre.

Leesalu’s debut novel, 2 grammi hämaruseni (‘2 Grams to Twilight’), published in 2005, was one of the nominees for Betti Alver Debut Prize. It is a story about a teenage girl in a small present-day town.

In 2006, Leesalu won the competition for young adults’ novels organised by Tänapäev publishers and the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre with her novel Mängult on päriselt (‘Game is Reality’). In this book, the author watches the wanderings of two young people – a sister living in a student dormitory and her younger brother staying at home with his father – in search of the meaning of life and human understanding. Both protagonists have their problems to solve. No support is found from the family and each other, and the final solution is tragic. The book has been translated into Lithuanian. Mahajäetud maja (‘Forsaken House’), published in 2010, is a funny but chilling story about three boys whose mischievous curiosity leads them into adventures.

Leesalu’s work at the theatre has not been restricted to directing. She has written plays herself (Offline, 2013) and been the co-author of Kaarel B. Väljamäe’s poetry productions Suur mees juba (‘A Big Man Already’, 2010) and Kriipsud uksepiidal (‘Scratches on the Doorjamb, 2017).

L. P. (Translated by I. A.)

Books in Estonian

Kaks grammi hämaruseni. Luige (Harjumaa): Verb, 2005, 167 lk.
Mängult on päriselt. Tallinn: Tänapäev, 2006, 279 lk.
Mahajäetud maja. Tallinn: Pegasus, 2010, 284 lk.

Offline. Tallinn: Tallinna Linnateater, 2013, 64 lk.