|Died||3 October 2009 (aged 80)|
Early life and education
After completing his primary education, he attended the Tallinn University of Technology and graduated in 1953 with a degree in chemistry. From 1953 to 1956, he was head of the fiction department at the Estonian National Publishing House, after which he decided to become a freelance writer.
After 1968, he served on the board of the Estonian Writers' Union, rising from Secretary to Chairman, in 1983. He was also involved in politics, being a member of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of Estonia and representing Estonia in the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union. In 1975, he was named an Honored Writer of the Estonian SSR.
He was married to Aimée Beekman, a graduate of the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography, who was also a successful and widely translated author. They worked together on an important film, Fellow Villagers, that showed some freedom from Soviet control. The plot involved an unsuccessful espionage attempt from a Western country, but it did exhibit some Post-Stalinist freedoms. In particular, it explored the daily problems of fishermen who are portrayed as real people with alternative views which are not cast as either right or wrong.
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