Sanneke van Hassel studied drama and cultural history in Utrecht. In 2005 she made her debut with the collection of short stories IJsregen (Frozen Rain), which was praised for its light absurdist atmosphere, its poetic style and its eye for detail. Her second collection, Witte veder (White Feather, 2007), was nominated for several literary awards. Sanneke won the Dutch BNG New Literature Prize for both collections. In 2010 her novel Nest was published, a modern comedy of manners about the reactions to a teenage pregnancy in a villa district, written in a taut and striking style and supported by irony and symbolic quotations. Her most recent collection of stories, Hier blijf ik (I’m Staying Here, 2014), comprises short stories inspired by photographed portraits of the residents of Rotterdam. As well as writing, Van Hassel organises evening programmes devoted to the short story.
I Wish My Piano Were a Horse
Edition Fünf, 2016
Translated by Bettina Bach, Helga van Beuningen, Anna Carstens, Doris Hermanns, Andrea Kluitmann, Christiane Kuby
Original title: Wär mein Klavier doch ein Pferd - Erzählungen aus den Niederlanden
15 stories by fourteen women authors from the Netherlands, written over the last century, told with open eyes for the absurdities and impositions of life. The authors give us laconic, direct, funny and tragic accounts of key moments in childhood and adulthood and of dramas that shake the foundation of their characters’ lives. As varied as their backgrounds are - traditional Dutch, colonial or Jewish - , they have a strong focus on the point where individuals and the world at large meet and the difficult balance between self-assertion and acceptance of others. With stories by: Maria Dermoût, Josepha Mendels, Elisabeth Augustin, Annie M. G. Schmidt, Marga Minco, Helga Ruebsamen, Margriet de Moor, Ellen Ombre, Jill, Anneloes Timmerije, Manon Uphoff, Sanneke van Hassel, Esther Gerritsen, and Maartje Wortel.