Helle-Iris Michelson

Helle Michelson

Helle-Iris Michelson (until 1937 Helle-Iris Roosmann; until 1958 Helle-Iris Roosma; 4. XI 1929 – 2. II 2024) was a translator, editor and writer.

She was born in Tallinn and matriculated from secondary school number 4, Tallinn. Thereafter she headed off to study in Leningrad, where she studied from 1948 to 1951 at the Lesgaft Institute of Physical Culture, to become a swimming instructor. She worked as a swimming instructor for a year in Tallinn, but in 1952 enrolled at the Institute of Foreign Languages number 2 in Leningrad, where she graduated in French philology in 1956. From 1956 to 1988 Michelson was an editor at the Eesti Raamat publishing house. Since 1988 she worked as a freelance translator. Helle-Iris Michelson was a member of the Estonian Writers’ Union since 1995.

Michelson translated over a hundred works, mainly from French, but also from Russian. Her translations were recognised by the Order of Academic Palms of France and the Order of Leopold, King of Belgium.

Michelson wrote two books about her own life, her work as a translator and her thoughts on literature and life: Lehitsetud leheküljed: meenutusi elust ja lastekirjandusest (‘Browsed Pages: Recollections of Life and Children’s Literature’, 2008) and Prantsuse pasjanss (‘French Solitaire’, 2012).

In 2012 a collection of memoirs by several authors appeared: Eestlased Piiteri teel. Üliõpilasaastad (‘Estonians on the Way to St. Petersburg: The Student Years’), edited by Michelson.

L. P. (Translated by C. M.)



Books in Estonian

Lehitsetud leheküljed. Meenutusi elust ja lastekirjandusest. Tallinn: Tänapäev, 2008, 285 lk.
Prantsuse pasjanss. Tallinn: Tänapäev, 2012, 238 lk.