Oskar Tanner

Children’s stories

Oskar Tanner (real name Lembit Rattus, born 26 September 1939) is a prose and children’s writer.

Tanner was born in Tartu, from 1947–1958 attended Tallinn Secondary School No. 22 and in 1963 graduated from Tallinn Pedagogical Institute specialising in Estonian language and literature. From 1975–1977, he worked at the editorial offices of the children’s magazine Täheke and the youth magazine Pioneer; from 1977–1985, he was chief editor of Pioneer and from 1986–1988 chief editor of the journal Teater. Muusika. Kino. Oskar Tanner was a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1969–1989. Tanner has also worked for the newspaper Rahva Hääl and, from 1995–1998, as cultural editor of the newspapers Eesti Sõnumid and Sõnumileht. From 1998, he was chief editor of Tiritamm publishers.

Tanner became known for youth stories published in the magazine Pioneer, which realistically depicted episodes of that time’s school life.  In 1982, 1985 and 1994, Tanner published three collections of stories for children. In 2006, Tanner published a bulky novel with autobiographical elements, Mai lõpus õitsevad sirelid (‘Lilacs Bloom at the End of May’). The theme of the novel is schoolboys’ life in Tallinn in the mid-1950s. It offers a balanced picture of young people’s emotional life in a historically realistic atmosphere.

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

Books in Estonian
Mai lõpus õitsevad sirelid. Tallinn: Tänapäev, 2006. 418 lk.

Short prose
Sõnakuulmatud. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1982. 75 lk.
Hüvastijätt. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1985. 87 lk.
Poisid. Tallinn: O. Tanner, 1994. 180 lk.
Kati, päkapikk ja Prominent. Tallinn: Tänapäev, 2002. 43 lk.