Agnes Taar

Short stories


Agnes Taar (birth name Agnes-Elsa Taar; from 1933 Blaubrück, Estonianised as Kajara; 17/5 September 1897 – 7 December 1976) was a children’s writer, playwright and prose writer.

Taar was born in Pärnu County, attended Maru primary school and Halliste parish school, completed Pärnu gymnasium as an external student, after which she attended J. V. Veski’s teacher training courses in Tartu. In 1917, she became a qualified teacher in Pärnu. Taar worked as a teacher, school head and post office clerk; from 1928, she was a freelance writer in Tartu. She was a member of the Estonian Writers’ Union but was excluded from membership during the Stalinist purges in 1950. Taar died in Tartu and is buried in Raadi cemetery there.

Agnes Taar published children’s stories and poems in the press from the 1920s; her first collection of children’s poems, Klu-klu (‘Clack-clack’) appeared in 1928. In her creation for children, the central place belongs to nature and animals. Her plays for children where a remarkable role also belongs to the theme of the mother have a didactic undertone.

Taar’s plays for adults were popular mostly on rural stages. The plays Kolm sündi (‘Three Births’, 1935) and Naine tulikahjumärgiga (‘Woman with a Mark of Fire’, 1936) deal with the women’s problems of the period.

Agnes Taar’s novel dilogy with an autobiographical undertone, Mari-Ann õpetajatütar (‘Mari-Ann, Teacher’s Daughter’, 1938) and Hulkumas ja põgenemas (‘Roam and Escape’, 1940), particularly the latter, are considered the peak of Agnes Taar’s creation. These novels also concentrate on the theme of women. The first novel depicts the story of a little girl’s growing and formation against the background of Estonian village life, the second — a young woman’s failed attempts at self-actualisation and vagaries of personal life.

A. K. (Translated by I. A.)


Books in Estonian

Mari-Ann õpetajatütar: ühe tütarlapse eelkevad. Tartu: Eesti Kirjastuse Kooperatiiv, 1938, 243 lk
Hulkumas ja põgenemas. Tartu: Eesti Kirjastuse Kooperatiiv, 1940, 261 lk [2. tr 2011]

Books for children
Klu-klu…: luuletusi lastele. Tartu: Noor-Eesti, 1928, 80 lk
Ema armastus: ühevaatuseline näidend lastele. Tartu: Sõnavara, 1929, 14 lk
Mida kinkida emale? Lastenäidend emadepäevaks. Tartu: Sõnavara, 1929, 15 lk
Imeline võõras: jõulujutt. Tartu: O. Luik, 1930, 13 lk
Kolm poissi ja õnnenumber. Tartu: Oskar Luik, 1931, 15 lk
Mustlase koer: värssjutt. Tartu: Noor-Eesti, 31 lk [2. tr 1981]
Kuldnokk naasis. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1970, 14 lk

Emake maamuld. Tartu: Noor-Eesti, 1931, 65 lk
Kõrgemäe noored. Tartu: Noor-Eesti, 1932, 75 lk
Naisvallavanem. Tartu: Noor-Eesti, 1933, 86 lk
Kes on süüdi? Tartu: Noor-Eesti, 1934, 72 lk
Kolm sündi. Tartu: Noor-Eesti, 1935, 82 lk
Naine tulikahjumärgiga. Tallinn: Eesti Haridusliit, 1936, 140 lk