Ine Viiding

Short stories Ine Viiding

About Ine Viiding


Ine Viiding (until 1956, Ine Süvalep; 30. XII 1933–30. IX 1990) was a prose writer, literary critic, and a publicist.

She was born in Tallinn, her father was a journalist. She graduated from Tallinn 10th Secondary School top of her class and from the University of Tartu in journalism with honors. From 1957-1958, she worked as a department manager at the editor’s office of the Türi newspaper Leek; from 1958-1964, she was a literary contributor and literature department manager of the newspaper Sirp ja Vasar; from 1964-1969, an instructor at the science and culture department of the Estonian Communist Party Central Committee; and from 1969-1982, the executive secretary of Looming magazine. From 1963-1990, she was a member of the CPSU; in 1970, she joined the Writers’ Union. From 1982, she became a freelance writer.

In literature, she started as a critic: starting from 1959, she published reviews, articles and essays about writers. Viiding compiled the essays and articles collections Ajasõlmed (‘Knots of Time’) and Järvamaa kohtumised (‘Järvamaa Meetings’) to which she also contributed as an author. Her first short stories were published in the newspaper Leek. Later, she dedicated herself solely to fiction. She has written literary reportages, stories, novels, and poetry.

The story collections Kümme käsku kaaskodanikele (‘Ten Commandments for Fellow Citizens’, 1977) and Jūrmala lood (‘Jūrmala Stories’, 1984) felt original due to the gravity and sincerity of the author’s point of view. The psychological novel Kordusmängud (‘Repeat Games’) was recognized at a 1979 novel competition. The novel focuses on the place an educated woman occupies in society as a woman, mother, and employee. The documentary story Reportaaž operatsioonilaualt (‘Reportage from the Operating Table’, J. Smuul Literary Prize in 1981) depicts the accomplishments of a cardiac surgeon. The novel Sa tead ainult küsimärki (‘A Question Mark Is All You Know’, 1988) focuses on the relationships between Estonians at home and abroad, and on the feelings of home in the conditions of the Cold War.

Ine Viiding was one of the first Estonian authors to write about the life difficulties of educated women and the loneliness they experience. All her prose works delve into the inner worlds of women.

Ine Viiding was the sister of the actor and stage director Kulno Süvalep. Her husband was the writer Bernhard Viiding and her daughter the folklorist Taive Särg.

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

Books in Estonian

Kordusmängud. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1980. 222 lk.
Sa tead ainult küsimärki. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1988. 157 lk.

Short stories
Kümme käsku kaaskodanikele. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1977. 147 lk.
Perekonna au. Reportaaž operatsioonilaualt. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1982. 143 lk.
Jurmala lood. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1984. 120 lk.