Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Jaan Kross: one of Estonia's most accomplished authors

Today marks the 100th anniversary of Estonian writer Jaan Kross’ birth. Kross is a grand figure in Estonian literature and the author of several seminal novels including Between Three Plagues and The Czar’s Madman. On several occasions, Jaan Kross was among the nominees of the Nobel Prize in Literature for his work.

Jaan Kross was born in Tallinn on 19th February 1920. He attended the Jakob Westholm Grammar School and later studied at the University of Tartu. During the German and Soviet occupations of Estonia, he was arrested several times on the grounds of being a nationalist. In 1947 The Soviets deported him to Northern Russia to work in mines and when he returned home in 1954 he became a writer.  Kross first wrote poetry before he started writing historic novels.

The 1978 novel The Czar's Madman is considered to be Kross' best work; it has been translated into several languages and received many awards.

In honour of Jaan Kross' 100th birthday Eesti Post has released a commemorative stamp.