Anti Saar

Novels Anti Saar

Short stories



Anti Saar (pseudonym Salmo Salar, born 9 May 1980) is a writer and translator.

Saar was born at Luunja. He attended Hugo Treffner Gymnasium in Tartu and graduated from the Department of Semiotics at the University of Tartu in 2005. He is the owner of the company Kolm Elu which produces plywood pinball machines for children. Saar is a member of the Estonian Writers’ Union from 2008. His brother is writer Peedu Saar.

He entered literature with writings meant for grown-ups. The prose excerpt published in the journal Vikerkaar in 2006, Kuidas sa ära läksid ja mina maha jäin (‘How you left and I stayed behind’) received the Esimene Samm (First Step) award at Tartu Prima Vista literary festival, which is given to the author of the best debut fiction text published in the print press. An essential place in both his debut book, the short prose collection Kuidas sa ära läksid ja mina maha jäin and the short novel Nemad kaks (‘The Two of Them’) belongs to the theme of writing about writing. The author experiments with genres, analyses writing and the author’s role. An original writing experiment which shows the author’s good feeling for the language and sensitivity for words is Sõnaraamat (‘Wordbook’, 2022). It is based on nouns sent to the author at a fixed time every day, and he had fifteen minutes for describing them. The result is a unique dictionary rich in connotations and allusions.

Play on words also has an essential place in children's books, for example in Kojamees Urmas (‘Urmas, the Maintenance Man’, 2015), which was awarded the title of the Good Children's Book. Actually, Saar has been most broadly recognised as a children’s writer. His first book for children, Kuidas meil asjad käivad (‘The Way Things Are with Us’, 2013) received the Raisin of the Year Award, Literature Endowment Annual Award, title of a Good Children's Book (all 2013) and the White Ravens Award (2014). The Pärt series also concentrates on the matters of a family as seen through the eyes of an active little boy, a character typical of Anti Saar’s books. From this series, Pärt ei oska saltot (‘Pärt Can’t Do a Backflip’, 2017) received the Järje Hoidja Award to the author of the Estonian children’s or youth book that has been most often checked out from the Tallinn Central Library (2017) and Seisa siin, Pärt! (‘Stand Here, Pärt’, 2018) the title of a Good Children's Book (2018). The last-mentioned prize was also given to the book Külaskäik (‘The Visit’, 2017) where a journey into the inside of an apple helps overcome the sorrow of grandmother’s death. The stories capture the child’s psychology and world of thoughts, being enthralling and adventurous, finding something special in everyday matters.

An insight into art history and everyday life of the past is provided in the book Mina, Milda ja meister Michel (‘Milda, Master Michel and I’, 2018), which presents the life and creation of Michel Sittow (1469–1525), a Tallinn artist of Dutch descent. The book received the Raisin of the Year Award. The poetry collection Suur koogitegu (‘Great Pancake Baking’, 2020) received the Karl Eduard Sööt Prize for children's poetry.

Anti Saar has translated prose and texts on philosophy and the humanities from French, for example Marcel Proust, George Perec, André Breton, Bruno Latour, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. In 2017, he received the Literature Endowment Annual Award for translation of philosophical literature for a selection of essays by Jacques Rancière Esteetika kui poliitika (’Aesthetics as Politics’).

From 2019–2021, he received the writer’s salary.

A. K. (Translated by I. A.)

Books in Estonian

Books for children
Kuidas meil asjad käivad. Tallinn: Tänapäev, 2013, 134 lk [järgmised trükid: 2014, 2020]
Kojamees Urmas. Tallinn: Päike ja Pilv, 2015, 24 lk
Juturaamat. Tallinn: Tänapäev, 2016, 73 lk
Külaskäik. Saue: Päike ja Pilv, 2017, 24 lk
Pärt ei oska saltot. Saue: Päike ja Pilv, 2017, 25 lk
Mina, Milda ja meister Michel. Tallinn: Eesti Kunstimuuseum, KUMU, 2018, 79 lk
Pärt ja ploomid. Saue: Päike ja Pilv, 2018, 26 lk
Pärt ja viimane koogitükk. Saue: Päike ja Pilv, 2018, 25 lk
Seisa siin, Pärt!. Saue: Päike ja Pilv, 2018, 28 lk
Pärt läheb uuele ringile. Saue: Päike ja Pilv, 2019, 28 lk
Pärt plindris. Saue: Päike ja Pilv, 2020, 94 lk
Anni asjad. Tartu: Kolm Elu, 2020, 80 lk
Suur koogitegu. Tartu: Kolm Elu, 2020, 44 lk
10 vähem või rohkem uskumatut lugu sellest, kuidas minust ei saanud kirjanikku. Tartu: Kolm Elu, 2021, 106 lk
Õudne lugu: hoiatuseks lastele ja vanematele. Tartu: Kolm Elu, 2022, 69 lk

Nemad kaks. Tallinn: Eesti Keele Sihtasutus, 2008

Short prose
Kuidas sa ära läksid ja mina maha jäin. Tallinn: Eesti Keele Sihtasutus, 2006, 149 lk
Tekste siledast ruumist. Tallinn: Eesti Keele Sihtasutus, 2009, 101 lk
Sõnaraamat. Tartu: Kolm Elu, 2022, 149 lk