The Saviour of Lasnamäe

The Saviour of Lasnamäe


by Mari Saat
translated by Susan Wilson

Pages: 142
ISBN: 978-1-908251-53-4
Dimensions: 198 x 130 mm
Publication: 2 November 2015
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Natalya Filippovna may be a middle-aged, single mother and member of the Russian minority in Estonia, but she is content with her simple life. She has a flat, a job at an electronics factory and, most importantly, she has her bright and ambitious teenaged daughter, Sofia. Money is tight, but they make do — that is, until Sofia requires a lengthy, expensive dental procedure and Natalya loses her job. With bills piling up and Sofia’s dental procedure only part finished, Natalya reluctantly accepts an undesirable mode of income. As she and Sofia adjust to their changing situations, Natalya falls for a mysterious, kind man, and her life takes yet another unexpected turn.

The Saviour of Lasnamäe won the Estonian Cultural Endowment’s Prize for Literature in 2008. The author, Mari Saat, also won the prize in 1992 and 1999.


“Mari Saat’s empathic book marks an important turn in Estonian literature to serious moral issues after decades of postmodernist experimentation. The plight of the Estonian Russians can’t be a more topical issue right now in Estonia. But Mari Saat’s treatment is far from unequivocal journalistic clichés. This small lyrical book achieves a subtle synthesis of natural and supernatural, quotidian and quietist.” — Märt Väljataga, Estonian Literature Centre

“[The Saviour of Lasnamäe] is a book of the modern world in Dostoyevsky’s tradition, altogether with its very captivating human empathy and delicacy in disconsolate conditions.” — Elle-Mari Talivee, Estonian Literature Centre

“[In The Saviour of Lasnamäe] Mari Saat’s prose contains a delicate, yet psychologically loaded questioning of ethics.” — Doris Kareva, Transcript