Peeter Puide (b. 11. X 1938) is a writer and translator of Estonian origin who writes in Swedish.
He was born in Pärnu. His interest in literature evidently originated with his parents. His father, the forestry specialist Edgar Puide, was a school friend of Uku Masing. Peeter Puide’s mother Maret Puide was friends with Betti Alver. In autumn 1944 the mother and son escaped to Germany, the father to Sweden. After not knowing about each other’s fate and a difficult period, the family was reunited and stayed in Sweden. Peeter Puide had Tomas Tranströmer as a schoolmate there. After graduating from university, he worked as an advertising consultant and a copywriter, and managed two well-known advertising schools. He was the owner of an advertising agency.
In 1981 he published his first poetry collection in Swedish. Subsequently he has written prose as well as poetry. Peeter Puide’s literary style is polished and individual. In his novels he uses Modernist features, such as collage, whereby the action happens in several times and places in parallel. Puide’s language is aware and considered, expressing himself precisely and bringing forth the particular weight of words. The subjects of his work are wide-ranging and their consistent thread is an interest in Estonia and its history. In some of his works Puide touches on contentious facts and events, doing it with internal conviction and consistency.
He has translated a lot of contemporary Estonian poetry and prose into Swedish (by Juhan Viiding, Elo Viiding, Viivi Luik, Mati Unt, Emil Tode / Tõnu Õnnepalu, Paul-Eerik Rummo, Jaan Kross, Ellen Niit, Betti Alver, Artur Alliksaar, Uku Masing, Aare Pilv, fs, Kristiina Ehin, Doris Kareva, Jürgen Rooste, Maarja Kangro, Kalju Kruusa, Marje Ingel and others).
To the Estonian public Puide is known chiefly because, since the late eighties, he has been researching and publishing material that demonstrates the participation of Estonians in the annihilation of the Jews during the German occupation. Puide’s activities in this field have caused sharp controversy in Estonia.
He is a member of the Estonian Writers’ Union and of the Swedish PEN Club.
L. P. (Translated by C. M.)
Books in Swedish
Över levande: dikter. Stockholm: Bonniers, 1981, 67 pp.
Ett nät av regn: dikter. Stockholm: Bonniers, 1982, 107 pp.
Till Bajkal, inte längre. Stockholm: Bonniers, 1983, 235 pp.
Samuil Braschinskys försvunna vrede: dokumentärroman. Stockholm: Norstedt, 1997, 400 pp.
Röra vid fienden. Stockholm: Norstedt, 2004, 360 pp.