Malle Talvet

Malle Talvet (full name Malle Talvet-Mustonen, born 16. XII 1955) is a translator, poet, and diplomat.

Talvet was born in Pärnu. From 1963 to 1970, she studied at Lydia Koidula 2nd Secondary School in Pärnu, then at Tallinn Music High School, which she graduated in 1974. In the same year, she enrolled in Tartu State University and graduated it in 1980 with a degree in Romano-Germanic philology. During her studies, she worked as a bibliographer at the library of Tallinn Conservatoire. After graduating university, she taught French language courses in Tallinn and at the Institute of Humanities for ten years. Her first translations originate from this time period as well. From 1990-1991, Talvet worked as an expert at the Estonian Institute and later as its representative in Paris. From 1993-1994, she underwent higher training in diplomacy at the Center for Diplomatic and Strategic Studies in Paris. From 1991, Talvet-Mustonen has been working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia. She has held several important diplomatic positions. From 2012-2016, she was the Estonian ambassador in Israel. She is a member of the Estonian Writers’ Union since 1997. In 2008, she was awarded the Order of the White Star, IV Class. Her brother is the writer, translator, and literary researcher Jüri Talvet.

Talvet’s first writings were poems published in the magazine Noorus in 1979. She has written one poetry collection: Nähtamatult, lakkamatult (‘Invisibly, Unceasingly’, 1990). Her poetry is emotional and haiku-like. Talvet has written the Latin texts for Rene Eespere’s musical works Sine responsis (1987) and Glorificatio (1990).

Talvet’s first translations of Virginia Woolf were done in cooperation with Jaak Rähesoo (‘To the Lighthouse’ in 1983 and ‘Essays’ in 1997). Talvet has translated from English, French and Italian  (Gertrude Stein, Carson McCullers, Anita Brookner, Alphonse Daudet, François Mauriac, Marguerite Duras, Vivant Denon, Antonio Tabucchi and many others).

L. P. (Translated by A. A.)

Books in Estonian

Nähtamatult, lakkamatult. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1990. 93 lk.