Tõnis Tootsen

Tõnis Tootsen

Tõnis Tootsen (born 17 October 1988) is a poet, prose writer who mainly writes science fiction and fantasy, and designer.

Tootsen has attended school in Tallinn and studied semiotics at the University of Tartu. He has acted as a translator and designer, done audio and video editing, edited the radio programmes of Ööülikool (‘Night University’) and books. His father is journalist and writer Toivo Tootsen (born 1943), his half-brother – journalist and film director, author of the popular radio programme Ööülikool Jaan Tootsen (born 1975).

Tõnis Tootsen’s debut book Esimene päev (‘The First Day’, 2016), which received the Literature Endowment Annual Award (free award), depicts a postapocalyptic world, life in Estonia in 2034. The novel has been written by hand, scanned and post-processed. The result is a book, each copy of which is unique in its artistic vision and design. The novel Ahvide pasteet (‘Pâté of the Apes’, 2022, the European Union Prize for Literature in 2023), the title of which refers to Pierre Boulle’s science-fiction classic Planet of the Apes, also belongs to the realm of fantasy. It takes a crooked look at the present-day world through the eyes of an ape. The narrative of the book is presented as a manuscript written by the ape Ergo, which has been deciphered and rewritten by Tootsen. As the background to this socio-critical novel, the Estonian history from the 1980s to the 2000s can be discerned. Visions of future Estonia are also created in the prose collection Nukumeister (‘The Puppet Master’, 2012).

In 2021, Tootsen published a poetry collection Uttu (‘Into the Mist’).

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

Books in Estonian

Esimene päev. Tallinn: T. Tootsen, 2016, 576 lk
Ahvide pasteet. Ühe ahvi mälestusi ja mõtteid. Luhametsa: Kaarnakivi seltsi kirjastus, 2022, 262 lk

Short prose
Nukumeister: tekste aastatest 2007-2011. Tallinn: T. Tootsen, 2012, 220 lk

Poetry collections
Uttu. Rõuge: Mõttelõke, 2021, 149 lk

Children’s books
Toivo Tootsen, Tõnis Tootsen, Jõhvi Joosepi jututuba: lustakat lugemist kogu perele. Tallinn: I. Parbus, 2001, 107 lk