Short stories



Mudlum (given name Made Luiga, b. 31. VII 1966) is a prose writer and literary critic.

She was born in Pärnu, educated in Pärnu, Paide and Tallinn, at the Estonian Institute of the Humanities and graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts in 2012. She has been a member of the Estonian Writers’ Union since 2017.

The beginning of Mudlum’s literary career is associated with the ZA/UM cultural grouping, on whose blog she began posting texts. The short story Minu tädi Ellen (‘My Aunt Ellen’) appeared in Vikerkaar in 2012, and her debut collection Tõsine inimene (‘A Serious Person’) in 2014. She often uses memory as material, mixing layers of memory and detailed descriptions of interiors and things into a story where there is no action in the foreground, only a scene, an existence. Characters often appear through the description of space. A striking example of this is the portrait of the author’s aunt Ellen, once the spouse of [the poet] Juhan Smuul, of whom she speaks, in addition to the story in Vikerkaar, also in the novel Mitte ainult minu tädi Ellen (‘Not Only My Aunt Ellen’, 2020). Through the pictures from memory and descriptions of objects, expressed in the first person by the author, emerges the story of a solitary woman (going mad). Through the imagery of objects and spaces, generalisations about a generation and the world take shape, also in the collection Ilus Elviira (‘Beautiful Elviira’, 2015). The novel Poola poisid (‘The Polish Boys’, 2019), which depicts the world of the young, is the story of a generation, inspired by the ZA/UM grouping, placed in a Polish context.

Mudlum’s criticism and essays are collected in Ümberjutustaja (‘The Reteller’, 2017).

She has won the Friedebert Tuglas short story prize for the story Ilma alguseta, ilma lõputa (‘Without a Beginning, Without an End’) from the collection Linnu silmad (‘Bird’s Eyes’, 2016); in 2019 she won a ‘Live and shine’ stipend as well as the Literature Endowment annual award for Poola poisid, which also won the European Union literature prize in 2020.

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

Books in Estonian

Poola poisid. Tallinn: Strata, 2019, 399 lk.

Mitte ainult minu tädi Ellen. Tallinn: Strata, 2020, 207 lk.

Tõsine inimene. Tallinn: ZA/UM, 2014, 199 lk.
Tõsine inimene. Bonus Track, ehk, Võidab see, kes kõige kauem võitleb. Tallinn: Mudlum, 2014. [E-raamat.]
Ilus Elviira. Burleskne jutustus. Tallinn: Eesti Keele Sihtasutus, 2015, 230 lk.
Linnu silmad. Tallinn: Eesti Keele Sihtasutus, 2016, 180 lk.

Ümberjutustaja. Tartu: Elusamus, 2017, 302 lk. [Arvustused.]