All posts tagged: estonia

Purge: Our Estonian Book

Purge by Sofi Aksanen: Purge was actually my first “around the world” book, and it did exactly what it was supposed to: tell me about a place I’ve never been and help me experience, in a small way, things I’ve never heard about. I’ve been dying to go to the Baltics for ages, but mostly because it seemed like they would have less expensive saunas than Finland. (No small thing, but still.) I didn’t know, until reading this book, about ftheir long and awful occupation by the Soviets, and I didn’t know about the lingering resentments about the native collaborators—in this case, the book’s main character, Aliide.


In the Crosswind, Estonia: ATW in Movies

I am properly obsessed with In the Crosswind. Let me back up, and discuss this film in a manner even more circuitous than usual. Before I decided to watch a movie from every country, I decided to read a book from every country. (In fact, I came up with the former while slogging through Anna Karenina, my Russia book.) The first book I read was the book-of-the-month for the Around the World in 80 Books group on Goodreads: Purge, by Sofi Oksanen. It dealt with the aftereffects of the Soviet devastation of the Baltic States—specifically Estonia—during World War II. Now, I am not an uneducated person. I can name a significant number of the presidents, I know the capital of Mongolia, and I am aware of many horrible things. I was not, though, aware of this catastrophe until I read this book—and then, in continuing to read authors from the Baltics, realized that Joseph Stalin’s deportations were their defining event of the 20th century—particularly for the tens of thousands of citizens who were removed from their native lands and …