Enn Nõu

Enn Nõu. Photo by Alar MadissonAbout Enn Nõu

Enn Nõu (b. 2. X 1933 in Tallinn), an exiled Estonian writer, spent a large part of his life and creative period as a refugee in Sweden, where he fled to with his parents in 1944. There he married Helga Raukas (Nõu), also a famous writer in exile. They have three children: their son, Heino, and two daughers, Laine and Liia. In the last couple decades, the writer pair has divided their life between Uppsala and Tallinn.

Enn Nõu lived in Kuremaa and Polli in his childhood but received his primary education at Tallinn’s primary school no 28, which was then followed by an education at the Swedish schools in refugee camps and later at primary and secondary schools in Uppsala. In 1978, he completed his studies and received his degree in medicine at the University of Uppsala in Sweden. He then worked primarily as a lung specialist at the University of Uppsala and its clinics, including as deputy chief doctor at the Academic Hospital’s lung clinic. He was a member of the Swedish Medical Association and the Swedish Society of Estonian Doctors, and belonged to the Swedish Physicians’ Union, the Association of Chief Physicians, and the Association of Upper Respiratory Physicians. He retired in 1998.

Nõu was a member of the Deputies’ Assembly of the Estonian Committee (Eesti Komitee Asemike Kogu) in 1966, 1968, and 1970; the Estonian Writers’ Union Abroad  from 1971–2000 (chairman from 1999-2000); the Estonian Writers’ Cooperative from 1973–1996; the Swedish Immigrant Writers’ Union from 1976–1997; the Swedish Writers’ Union from 1988–1998, a literary committee member of the Society of Estonian Culture (Eesti Kultuuri Koondis) in 1966; a member of the Institute of Estonian Language and Literature from 1975–1993; and from 1978, a member of the Estonian PEN Club (including as part of the board). Additionally, he was a correspondent member of the Pallas Tartu Art Association beginning in 1989, a member of the Estonian Writers’ Union beginning in 1992, a member of the Estonian Literary Society (honorary member from 2006 onwards) starting in 2000, and chairman of the Estonian Literary Fund that oversees the heritage and copyright management of Karl Ristkivi. Enn Nõu has been the chief editor of the journal “Eesti Noorus” (‘Estonian Youth’; 1945 in Fagerudd; 1945 – 1953 in Uppsala) and has edited the bulletin “Raimla Side” (‘Raimla Communication’, 1958-1966). Additionally, he belonged to the board of the newspaper “Teataja” (‘Journal’, 1963-1972) and the magazine “Mana” (1965-1999).

In 2002, Nõu was awarded the Order of the White Star, Fifth Class; in 2005, the Biographical Award of the Estonian Museum of the Blind; in 2013 the Jaan Kross Literary Prize, the culture award of the Union of Estonians in Sweden, and a letter of thanks and the anniversary award from the Estonian Ministry of Culture; in 2015, he was awarded a medal of service from the Estonian Heritage Society.

He has given lectures at the Forest University (Metsaülikool) in Canada, at Uppsala University in Sweden, and elsewhere. He has traveled in Italy, England, Switzerland, Scotland, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Belgium, Canada, and the United States. His work has been published in many journals. He belongs to the student corporation Raimla. He has amassed a large collection of audio and video archives, which reflect the cultural life of exiled Estonians in Sweden.

Nõu’s work is masculine, his themes often connecting real history with fictional characters and focusing on the politics of refugees and questions of refugee identity, including the importance of preserving national identity.

M. K. (Translated by M. M.)

Books in Estonian

Pidulik marss. Uppsala: 1968, 244 lk. [2. trükk: Tallinn: Õllu, 1992, 160 lk.]
Lõigatud tiibadega. Lund: Eesti Kirjanike Kooperatiiv, 1976, 252 lk. [2. trükk: Lõigatud tiibadega. Pärandusmaks. Tallinn: Õllu, 1994, 392 lk.]
Pärandusmaks. Lund: Eesti Kirjanike Kooperatiiv, 1976, 200 lk. [2. trükk: Lõigatud tiibadega. Pärandusmaks. Tallinn: Õllu, 1994, 392 lk.]
Nelikümmend viis. Stockholm: Välis-Eesti & EMP, 1984, 236 lk. [2. trükk: Tallinn, 1996, 216 lk.]
Koeratapja. Stockholm: Välis-Eesti & EMP, 1988, 329 lk. [2. trükk: Tallinn: Õllu, 1993, 280 lk; 3. trükk: Tallinn: Eesti Päevaleht/Akadeemia, 2009, 319 lk, Mart Orava järelsõna.]
Presidendi kojutulek. Tallinn: Õllu, 1996, 224 lk.
Mõtusekuke viimne kogupauk. Tallinn: Eesti Keele Sihtasutus, 2005, 487 lk. [Audioraamat: Loeb Silvi Jansons. Võru: Pimedate Infoühing “Helikiri”, 2005, 1 CD, 17 t 1 min; punktkirjaväljaanne: Tallinn: Eesti Pimedate Raamatukogu, 2005, 8 kd (914 lk).]
Vabariigi pojad ja tütred. I osa. Tallinn: Maaleht, 2010, 360 lk.
Vabariigi pojad ja tütred. II osa. Tallinn: Eesti Ajalehed, 2011, 456 lk.
Vabariigi pojad ja tütred. III osa. Tallinn: Varrak, 2012, 414 lk.
Ma armastasin rootslast ehk Sollefteå suvi. Tallinn: Tänapäev, 2013, 252 lk.
Saaremaa eleegia. Tallinn: Grenader, 2015, 182 lk.
Poisteraamat: poistelood ja lapsepõlve seiklused. Tallinn: Eesti Keele Sihtasutus, 2016, 258 lk.

Short stories
Vastuvett. Uppsala: 1972, 240 lk. [2. trükk: Tallinn: Õllu, 1995, 184 lk.]