The publishing house was founded four months after the introduction of the Estonian crown in October 1992 by a small group of Estonian writers, translators and artists as a limited liability company (Estonian osaühing ). This made it one of the first start-ups after the restoration of Estonian independence in 1991.
The new publisher's first book appeared in 1993 and was quickly spread on the (inter) national market with the help of a modern advertising campaign: The novel Piiririik by Tõnu Õnnepalu , which was published in 1997 in German translation. The well-known poet had taken on the pseudonym Emil Tode for his prose debut , which was not least intended to facilitate distribution abroad. The novel, which has long since become a classic of modern literature in Estonia and has sometimes been referred to as the “first Estonian novel after perestroika”, has now been translated into 20 languages.
Right from the start, the publisher focused on quality instead of quantity, which means that sales or the number of titles are not very high. With this program, the publisher succeeded in gaining the reputation of a publishing house for high literature in the literary field within a few years.
- Emil Tode: In the border region. From the Estonian by Horst Bernhardt. Vienna: Paul Zsolnay Verlag 1997. 175 pp.
- Cornelius Hasselblatt : Estonian literature in German translation. A reception story from the 19th to the 21st century. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz 2011. p. 366.
- Marin Laak: Kus on siin Mats ja kus on vurle? Emil Tode "Piiririik" kriitikut vihastamas, in: Vikerkaar 8/1994, p. 56–60, here p. 58.
- Homepage of the Estonian Literature Information Center
- Ilona Martson: Eesti kirjandus- ja ajakirjandusväli 1988–2000 (III). 1997-2000: Stabiliseerumine, in: Looming 11/2003, p. 1676.