He is a virtuoso who can easily shift from one style to another, producing short stories, newspaper columns, pamphlets and dramatic texts, writing for children and for TV, varying black humour with even unexpected tender sensitivity, making one smile through one’s tears.”
Andrus Kivirähk (born 17 August 1970) is an Estonian writer. Kivirähk has studied journalism at the University of Tartu, and now works in the daily paper “Eesti Päevaleht”, writing weekly columns.
Over 30,000 copies of his novel “Rehepapp ehk November“, 2000 (Old Barny or November) had been sold, making him the most popular 21st century Estonian writer.
His book “Mees, kes teadis ussisõnu” (The Man Who Spoke Snakish) (2007) has been one of the top selling books in Estonia.
“He is most appreciated for his novels – for “Rehepapp ehk November” (November, 2000), and “Mees, kes teadis ussisõnu” (The Man Who Spoke Snakish, 2007), literary fantasies based on folklore, the last of them an allegory about a vanishing world.”
“November” borrows from the old oral tradition, using legends concerning werewolves, treasure-collecting beings called kratt, spirits of the forefathers and wild ghosts of the forest, the Plague coming to the village in a guise of a young girl, etc.”
“Somewhere near the realms of fantasy and science fiction there exists a much more thrilling and allegorical form of writing, bending the rules of the genre to suit itself: Atwood’s admonitory novels, Vonnegut’s attempts to reach outside the bounds of reality and time, Bradbury’s philosophical allegory encased within a science-fiction story, and so on… To say of Andrus Kivirähk’s novel “The Man Who Spoke Snakish” (“Mees, kes teadis ussisõnu”) that it is a fantasy story in the Pratchett mould of humorous pseudo-history is simply to underestimate it. It is an allegory about the fading of the ages and the vanishing of worlds, and what is more, laced with a good dose of black humour.”