Priit Vesilind to sign his new book Singing Revolution in Toronto (3)
Archived Articles 15 Apr 2008  EWR
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Following on the success of the documentary film, "The Singing Revolution," the film's directors, James and Maureen Tusty, have worked over the past year with Estonian-American journalist Priit Vesilind to put the film ideas and emotions into book form, as a companion piece for the film. This April the book will be introduced to the public in Toronto with a book signing that will accompany a special Toronto screening of the film, at the Ontario Place Cinesphere on Sunday, April 20 at 5 pm. The documentary had its North American premiere in Toronto as the gala presentation of the estdocs film festival in the fall of 2007.

"The Singing Revolution" book is a 200-page volume written by Vesilind, with contributions from the Tustys, and includes some 70 high-definition frames from the film itself, as well as photographs from Vesilind's extensive collection of historical slides from Estonia.

Vesilind, 65, a retired but still active writer and editor at National Geographic magazine in Washington, D.C. has written seven major articles about the Baltic Sea area, including the first Western-reported magazine piece from Soviet-occupied Estonia in 1980, "Return to Estonia," which was translated by Voice of America and passed around Estonia in samizdat version after its appearance.

For the Singing Revolution book Vesilind took the framework and concepts of the documentary film and merged it with other research and past experiences to produce a book that is amply illustrated and goes deeper into the background, causes, and music of Estonia that led to the "Singing Revolution." It will be published by Varrak Kirjandus in Tallinn, one of Estonia's major book publishers, in both English and Estonian languages.

"This is a book that every Estonian in North America has needed at one time or another," Vesilind says. "Many of our American friends know next to nothing about Estonia, and there has been a dearth of books in English about Estonian history and culture." The book is written especially for this audience, he says. It is not academically oriented, easy to read, and richly illustrated, much like National Geographic itself. "You can hand this book to a friend," Vesilind says, "and say to him, 'This is what we're all about.'"
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