(Alkmaar, 1957) is a Dutch poet, prose writer, translator and publisher. He studied law. Asscher worked with a literary publisher for many years, lastly as general director of J.M. Meulenhoff. Between 1998 and 2004 he headed the arts department of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. Now he is general manager of bookshop Athenaeum in Amsterdam. In 1992 Asscher made his debut with the short story anthology Dodeneiland, vier geschiedenissen (Island of the Dead, Four Histories). He published stories, poems, poetry translations, essays, two novellas and a novel (Het uur en de dag, 2005; The Hour and the Day). The rights for his novellas were sold to film producer Rob Houwer. De verstekeling (The Stowaway)was nominated for the Ako literature prize 2000.
Archive available for: Maarten Asscher
'There was a time which, according to some, still continues. In that time the Netherlands was much bigger than now.' This is how Cees Nooteboom once began a fairytale about the Netherlands. In his opening speech about a journey to a dreamed Netherlands he continued his quest into those known and unknown areas in Winternachten. Lieve Joris talked to him. Maarten Asscher is host. Dutch spoken.