Hugo Vaher

Hugo Vaher (real name Urmas Jaagusoo, born 13 May 1974) is a youth writer who has addressed the punk movement in Estonia in his works.

Vaher was born in Tallinn and attended Tallinn Secondary School No. 7, the later Tallinn English College. He has graduated from the School of Law at the University of Tartu and also studied public administration at the same university. He has played the guitar in the punk group A.V.A. (the later indie group The Chance), been a prolific songwriter and performed as a solo artist under the name of Ray Astero. His stories reflect his youth time memories of playing in the band. Vaher has worked at the Ministry of Education. At present, he works as an official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has been a member of the Estonian Writers’ Union from 2021.

Hugo Vaher’s debut book Punk ei ole surnud (‘Punk is Not Dead’, 2012) speaks about punks’ life in Estonia in the 1980s. The first-person character, a young punk of secondary school age, makes a band, experiences his first great love and attempts to find his place in a life full or restrictions, lies and injustice, but where friendship, love and understanding are not lacking either. In the following years, Vaher published two more books about the life of punks: Skvotterid (‘Squatters’) and Sügise kuldne kooma (‘Golden Coma of the Autumn’).

Alongside books for the youth, Hugo Vaher has also written children’s books. Ümera mehed Roosa Villast (‘Men of Ümera from Roosa Villa’, 2014) has been followed by numerous other books for children. Hugo Vaher continues the Estonian tradition of boys’ books. He is a master at creating exciting plots. He shows expressively that even the most ordinary children can be heroes if there are friends next to them, and they enjoy the backing of a safe home. Vaher has been acknowledged at the competition of children’s stories Minu esimene raamat (‘My First Book’) and at a youth novel competition.

Hugo Vaher’s translations into Estonian include self-help books and fiction.

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


Books in Estonian

Punk ei ole surnud. Tallinn: Tänapäev, 2012. 183 lk.
Skvotterid. Tallinn: Tänapäev, 2013. 223 lk.
Vallakirjutaja käsiraamat, ehk, Määrdemeistri mälestused. Tallinn: Varrak, 2014. 197 lk.
Sügise kuldne kooma. Tallinn: Tänapäev, 2017. 187 lk.

Youth stories
Ümera mehed Roosa Villast. Tallinn: Tänapäev, 2014. 181 lk.
Ajutine elu. Tallinn: Tänapäev, 2015. 214 lk.
Jõesaare poisid. Tallinn: Tänapäev, 2016. 167 lk.
Vääna jäljekütid. Salapärase soki juhtum. Tallinn: Tänapäev, 2017. 118 lk.
Vääna jäljekütid. Maa ja taeva vahel. Tallinn: Tänapäev, 2019. 134 lk.
Inspektor Telinski, kummisuti ja kõik ülejäänud. Tallinn: Koolibri, 2020. 119 lk.
Vääna jäljekütid. Vana laagri saladus. Tallinn: Tänapäev, 2020. 144 lk.