I discovered while in Helsinki that Irina is writing a book.
“What kind of a book?” I asked her.
“A book about feminism.”
“Isn’t that old hat?”
“Not in Estonia.”
“So you are writing it in Estonian?”
“Yes. Why not? If it’s published I could be a celebrity.”
“What? And be on television?”
“Yes, why not.”
“Tell me more about it. What are the big ideas?”
“Actually all the ideas are taken from real women’s lives. Facebook is very good for that. I have all these conversations with women on Facebook and then afterwards I just copy and paste. Each conversation is the basis for a chapter in my book.”
“So you are stealing people’s lives?”
“Yes, that’s what writers do, isn’t it? They take people’s lives and they make a book out of them.”
“So it’s a novel, then?”
“Yes, it’s a novel.”
We talked for hours. Back in the hotel I wrote down everything she said. If you read my blog entry called A bloodless coup you would know I had reservations about that. It didn’t feel right.
But I wrote it all down anyway; it was great material.
Recently she told me she is taking another man on the same trip we went on, to all the places she loves in Estonia. I said, “This man, what’s he like?”
“Don’t worry,” she said. “He’s not my type. I don’t even like him.”
“Then why are you taking him on this trip?”
“Material for my book,” she said.
A week later I asked her, “Am I going to be in your book?”
“Yes, but I haven’t decided on a role for you yet.”
I must admit, I was a bit put out; but if she’d said no I would have been mortified.