Urmas Vadi was declared Writer of the Year yesterday at the Liivi Museum in Alatskivi.
Vadi, a Tartu resident, was praised for his novel "Back to Estonia." The literature event where the award was presented has been held only since 2010 and is financed by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, reported uudised.err.ee.
Commenting on the overall quality of new works coming out, the judging committee, led by Mihkel Kunnus, expressed dismay over what they said is an overabundance of bad new literature in Estonia.
"There are a lot of literature-esque products. For example, around 100 original works of prose are published each year, many of which do not endure criticism at all and it is actually very difficult for readers to orient themselves. In Estonian literature there is an avalanche [of new material], but the problem is the quality,” Kunnus told ERR radio.
Vadi agreed with this, suggesting that book stores should have review catalogs so that readers can read critiques before they decide to make a purchase.
"I think that could be one thing that could help readers stay afloat and make a decision. The recommendations of writers themselves, as well as those of critics and researchers, would certainly be helpful,” Vadi said.
"A lot of junk gets published and one has to be quite knowledgeable to navigate through it and find the right thing. Often there are these heartbroken ladies who decide to publish their work before their 50th birthday - it is so awful; you can recognize it from far away,” Vadi said.