Tõnu Õnnepalu

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Tõnu Õnnepalu
Tõnu Õnnepalu performing in Niguliste church during Tallinn Literature Festival
Born (1962-09-13)13 September 1962
Pen name Emil Tode, Anton Nigov
Nationality Estonian

Tõnu Õnnepalu (born 13 September 1962), also known by the pen names Emil Tode and Anton Nigov, is an Estonian poet and author.

Õnnepalu was born in Tallinn and studied biology at the University of Tartu from 1980 to 1985. He began his writing career as a poet in 1985 and has published three collections of his works. In 1993 he garnered international attention when his novel Piiririik (English translation: "Border State") was published under his pen name 'Emil Tode'.[1] The book was translated into 14 languages and became the most translated Estonian book of the 1990s.[1] That year, he received the annual literary award given by the Baltic Assembly.[1] Õnnepalu's work often explores topics such as homosexuality, isolation and betrayal.

In 1992, his poem "Inquiétude du Fini" was performed as a choral piece, with notable Estonian composer Erkki-Sven Tüür acting as conductor.[2]

In addition to writing novels, Tõnu Õnnepalu has translated works into Estonian from the French language by such authors as François Mauriac, Charles Baudelaire and Marcel Proust[1] and has written for such English language publications as the Poetry Society.[3] Tõnu Õnnepalu is also a member of the Board of Governors of the Eesti Maaülikool (Estonian University of Life Sciences) in Tartu.[4]


  • Piiririik ("Border State", as Emil Tode)
    • Published by Tuum, 1993.
  • Hind ("The Price", as Emil Tode)
    • Published by Tuum, 1995.
  • Mõõt ("The Measure", as Emil Tode)[5]
    • Published by Tuum, 1996.
  • Printsess ("Princess", as Emil Tode)
    • Published by Täht, 1997.
  • Harjutused ("Practicing", as Anton Nigov)
    • Published by Eesti Keele Sihtasutus, 2002.
  • Raadio ("Radio", as Emil Tode)
    • Published by Eesti Keele Sihtasutus, 2002.
  • Paradiis ("Paradise", as Tõnu Õnnepalu)
    • Published by Varrak, 2009.
  • Mandala ("Mandala", as Tõnu Õnnepalu)
    • Published by Varrak, 2012.

Collections of poetry[edit]

  • Jõeäärne maja, 1985
  • Ithaka, 1988
  • Sel maal, 1990
  • Mõõt, 1996
  • Enne heinaaega ja hiljem, 2005
  • Kevad ja suvi ja, 2009


External links[edit]