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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Author of Portrait of a Secret Agent!

Biography Of Author Tina Tamman!

I was aged 26 when I arrived in England from Soviet Estonia. Everything was new to me on arrival, from wrapped bread and mail-order catalogues to cheques in the post. I was, however, often asked how I got out of the Soviet Union and sometimes, when I was bored with the question, I said I was a spy. Several years later I found myself working at BBC Monitoring, amused to hear that the Soviets used to call it a spy centre. However, all we did was to listen to foreign radio and TV broadcasts (in my case Estonian Radio in both Estonian and Russian).
Intelligence began to interest me seriously when I was researching the life of an Estonian diplomat for my PhD. It appeared that this diplomat, August Torma, who found himself stranded in London in 1940 once the Soviets had overran his country, had links with intelligence. Research into Torma led me to Brian Giffey whom Torma knew and who was indeed a British intelligence officer. I was pleased to publish the biographies of both of these interesting men.
In the process I have grown to love archival research and shaping what I have learnt into chapters for a book. Not that different from my work at Monitoring where it was similarly important to distinguish between the important and unimportant.


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