Jüri Tuulik

Novels Jüri Tuulik

Short stories

About Jüri Tuulik


Jüri Tuulik (22. II 1940 – 3. VI 2014) was a prose writer and playwright.

He was born on the island of Abruka, and forcibly evacuated with his family to Germany in 1944 – 1945. He was educated on Abruka, in Kuressaare (Kingisepa at the time) and in the faculty of history and languages at Tartu State University, where he graduated in Estonian philology in 1963. He worked on the newspapers Edasi and Noorte Hääl and on the maritime journal Vesikaar. From 1969 he was a professional writer. He was a member of the Writers’ Union from 1972, and made a Merited Writer of the ESSR in 1986. He died in Kuressaare, and was buried on Abruka. His twin brother was the writer Ülo Tuulik.

He made his debut with a piece of short prose in a Saaremaa newspaper in 1956. The collection of short prose Tund enne väljasõitu (‘An Hour Before Departure’, 1966) appeared on the Young Authors cassette in 1965 along with poetry collections by Leelo Tungal and Ingvar Luhaäär. This was followed by the prose collections Vana loss. Abruka lood (‘The Old Castle. Stories of Abruka’, 1972), Meretagune asi (‘A Thing Beyond the Sea’, 1976, winner of the Eduard Vilde literature prize in 1977), Külatraagik (‘A Village Tragedian’, 1980), Mehed ja koerad (‘Men and Dogs’, 1985), Haab (‘The Aspen’, 1989) and the novel Vares (‘The Crow’, 1979), which depicts with empathy a child’s emotional world colliding with the harshness of the adult world. Problems arising on the ethical plane have an essential place in Tuulik’s works. Deeper truths, based on tradition, often collide with modernisation that alienates from folkways. Most of his prose pieces take as their subject-matter his home island of Abruka, directly or indirectly. He described with expert knowledge and empathy a coastal village and its inhabitants, their life, and the sea. What is striking are the colourful characters, their colloquial use of language and their humour. The events of the Second World War are especially significant as the background to several of the prose pieces. He was the first in literature to depict the evacuation of the ‘sõrulased’ (inhabitants of the Sõrve peninsula on Saaremaa) in 1940s. The subject matter, style and tone of his dramatic works and radio plays are similar to those of his prose works.   

He won several awards, including the Juhan Smuul annual literary prize for radio plays in 1979 and for the prose collection Külatraagik (1980) in 1981, the Saare Kalur (a fishing company) award in 1980 for his works depicting coastal people, the Oskar Luts Humour Prize, the Friedebert Tuglas short story award for Tellikaatne (‘Tellicate’) in 2009, and the August Mälk short story prize repeatedly.

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

Books in Estonian  

Vares. Tallinn: Perioodika (Loomingu Raamatukogu), 1979.  [Järgmised trükid: 1980, 1983, 2002, 2008.]

Short prose
Tund enne väljasõitu: jutte ja laaste 1962-1964. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1966, 104 lk.
Vana loss: Abruka lood. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1972, 192 lk.
Meretagune asi: külajutud. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1976, 214 lk.
Külatraagik: jutustused ja romaanid. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1980, 344 lk.
Mehed ja koerad: jutustused. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1985, 176 lk.
Haab: külaproosa. Jutustused. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1989, 205 lk.
Mere ja taeva vahel: jutustused. Tallinn: Kupar, 1991, 188 lk.
Üksik lind mere kohal: romaan ja jutustused. Tallinn: Maalehe Raamat, 2002, 606 lk.
Linnusita: jutustused, lühijutud, näidendid ja vested. Tallinn: Maalehe Raamat, 2004, 406 lk.
Nässu ja Loviisaga: jutustused. Tallinn: Maalehe Raamat, 2005, 367 lk.
Räim, pisike kena kala: valitud lugusid ja toiduretsepte. Tallinn: Kadmirell, 2008, 250 lk.
Aprillipörsas. Tallinn: Kadmirell, 2009, 286 lk.
Nende aastate pilved. Tallinn: Kadmirell, 2011, 294 lk.

Pulmad Abruka moodi. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1979, 202 lk.
Hirvesarvetuba: monolooge ja stseene. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1983, 159 lk.
Linnusita: jutustused, lühijutud, näidendid ja vested. Tallinn: Maalehe Raamat, 2004, 406 lk.
Viimased kotkad: näidendid, kuuldemängud, monoloogid. Tallinn: Maalehe Raamat, 2006, 415 lk.
Aprillipörsas. Tallinn: Kadmirell, 2009, 286 lk.

Olümpia aabits. Tallinn: Eesti Olümpiainfo, 1996, 23 lk.
Nende aastate pilved. Tallinn: Kadmirell, 2011, 294 lk.