Ülo Tuulik

Novels Ülo Tuulik

Short stories



About Ülo Tuulik


Ülo Tuulik (b. 22. II 1940) is a prose writer and commentator.

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 (Kingisepp 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 Rahva Hääl, Noorus, Sirp ja Vasar and the journal Looming. He was the chairman of the Young Authors’ Association in Tallinn, 1964-1966. He joined the Writers’ Union in 1974, was on its board from 1976 to 1981 and 1986 to 1998. His twin brother was the writer Jüri Tuulik (1940-2014).

Ülo Tuulik’s first prose work appeared in 1956 in a Saaremaa newspaper; he also published prose and commentaries during his university studies. His first book to appear in print, Aafrika kuum meri (‘The Hot Sea of Africa’, 1965) is based on an Atlantic journey he made on a fishing vessel. Different forms of prose are collected in Vihm Gibraltaris (‘Rain in Gibraltar’, 1972). One of the central themes of Tuulik’s work is the sea and seamen; humorous aspects of maritime life are presented in such works as the collection Atlandi kirjad (‘Atlantic Letters’, 1979). Besides the seafaring theme, Tuulik has dealt with war; the novel Sõja jalus (‘In the Way of War’, 1974) focuses on the forcible evacuation of the residents of Sõrve in 1944 to Germany, the sufferings they went through and the return home of the survivors. This work, based on extensive research, switches between the past and the present; on the latter plane the background to the creation of the book is revealed, discussing the after-effects of war and the ethical questions for the author. The work contains various kinds of documentary material and memoirs.

Tuulik’s current affairs commentaries are compiled in Kuidas kuulata tormi (‘How to Listen to the Storm’, 1980); the collection Kõrge taevas (‘High Heavens’, 1985) contains, in addition to an essay on Cambodia, meditations on various individuals, travelogues and other things.

Awards given to Ülo Tuulik include:

  • Merited Writer of the ESSR, 1986
  • The Juhan Smuul prize in 1975 for the novel Sõja jalus (1974) and in 1985 for the essay Kõrge taevas.
  • The Komsomol literary award for the novel Sõja jalus
  • The Tuglas short story prize for Eli Klasiga Kielis (‘With Eri Klas in Kiel’, 1985)
  • The Henrik Krumm cultural award, 2015.

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


Books in Estonian

Sõja jalus. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1974, 159 lk. [Järgmised trükid: 1985, 2010.]

Prose collections
Vihm Gibraltaris: proosat aastaist 1961-1971. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1972, 104 lk.
Atlandi kirjad: jutustused. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1979, 136 lk.
Mere ja taeva vahel: jutustused. Tallinn: Kupar, 1991, 188 lk.

Travel books
Aafrika kuum meri. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1965, 108 lk.

Current affairs commentaries
Kuidas kuulata tormi: publitsistika. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1980, 209 lk.
Kõrge taevas: publitsistikat. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1985, 119 lk.
Eri Klasiga Kielis ja muud järelejäänud paberid. Tallinn: Faatum, 2006, 195 lk.