Marie Rebane

Short stories


Marie Rebane (also Maria Rebane, given name Maria Leis, 23. IV 1912 – 29.II 2004) was a children’s author.

She was born at Venevere in Kõo parish, Viljandi county. Having matriculated in 1931 from a high school in Tallinn, Rebane worked from 1932 as an office worker and tourist guide, occasionally working on the family farm. From 1936 she was an official at the Estonian state information centre. During the Second World war she was in Pärnu. From 1944 she worked for the Estonian Information Agency ETA. In 1948 Rebane settled in Tallinn again, where she devoted herself to literary activity. As a pseudonym she chose her mother Miina’s maiden name.

Rebane worked in the children’s press. Her cheery tales tell mostly of animals and birds. Creative background knowledge came to her from her childhood trips to Finland and her travels in Central Asia, the Caucasus, Ukraine and the fishing villages of Estonia after the war.

In 1957 Rebane’s short story Jääl (‘On the Ice’) won a prize in a story competition run by the youth magazine Pioneer. Marie Rebane produced a gripping, but in places sad, collection of animal stories, Kui siilil nohu oli (‘When the Hedgehog had a Cold’, 1959), the stories Jäise ratsu turjal (‘Riding an Icy Mane’, 1961), Maret ((1965) and Ebatavaline armastus (‘An Unusual Love’, 1990). The story Jäise ratsu turjal describes seals and their hunters, whose life the author had come to know personally. The story Maret portrays a brave girl’s actions in Estonia during the Second World War under the conditions of the German occupation. The work reflects the national propaganda requirements of the Soviet Union. This book appeared in Lithuanian in 1968. Ebatavaline armastus depicts the true story of a baby crow that grows up among humans and befriends a cat.

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

Books in Estonian

Children’s stories
Kui siilil nohu oli: jutukesi vanaema noorpõlvest. Tallinn: Eesti Riiklik Kirjastus, 1959. 68 lk.
Jäise ratsu turjal [jutustus]. Tallinn: Eesti Riiklik Kirjastus, 1961. 184 lk.
Maret [jutustus]. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1965. 176 lk.
Ebatavaline armastus [jutustus]. Tallinn : Eesti Raamat, 1990. 110 lk.