Sanneke van Hassel
(Netherlands, 1971) wrote six collections of short stories, inluding 2019's Nederzettingen (Settlements), as well as the novels Nest (2010) and Stille grond (Silent Ground, 2017). She won the 2008 BNG New Literature Prize for her early work and the 2013 Anna Blaman Prize for her oevre. Van Hassel also writes non-fiction and is a strong promotor of the short story genre; together with Annelies Verbeke she compiled the short-story anthology Naar de stad (Toward the City, 2012). Both her novels and short stories describe people struggling to get a grip on their lives. In 2011, she wrote short monologues which could be heard at the Dutch pavillion at Venice Biennale. Van Hassel studied drama and cultural history, was a dramaturge with theatre company 't Barre Land from 1996-2006, and is a member of the writers' collective Fixdit, which aims to raise awareness of gender inequality in literature and expand the literary canon with work by important female authors.(WN 2022)
Archive available for: Sanneke van Hassel
In this Writers Series programme, writers' collective Fixdit, in collaboration with Writers Unlimited, celebrated the publication of the Fixdit manifesto Optimistische woede: fix het seksisme in de literatuur (Optimistic Rage: fix sexism in literature), a publication of De Geus, at Theater aan het Spui in The Hague.
Many people openly admit to barely reading books by women. Reading lists in schools are dominated by books by (white straight) men. Women win fewer literary prizes than men. Is that a bad thing? Yes, because it reflects and shapes relations in society.
Eleven female writers are outraged by the unequal position of women in the arts, and united in the collective Fixdit. From alliance, they fight for change, in the literary world and in the canon. In the eleven pieces of this manifesto, they explore the problem in depth. Furious, combative, and above all: optimistic.
No fewer than eight of the eleven Fixdit authors read from their contributions to their joint manifesto: Sanneke van Hassel, Rachida Lamrabet, Jannah Loontjens, Christine Otten, Shantie Singh, Fleur Speet, Manon Uphoff and Annelies Verbeke. You probably read their books and met them in previous Writers Series programmes or at the Winternachten festival.
The programme in Zaal 1 opened and closed with parts from Gregory Shaggy's urban dance performance (Y)our eyes only about the reality of young black men in Western society. With their own dreams, goals and talents, they try to make a name for themselves in a world where prejudice, racism, inequality and distorted images in the media are unfortunately still among today's problems. The men want to search for their own truths. They try to face personal blockages in order to ultimately follow their dreams.
After the programme, we celebrated the book launch with bubbles and book signing at De Vries Van Stockum Boeken's book sales stand in the foyer. This book launch marked the start of a Fixdit tour along bookshops and literary venues throughout the Netherlands and Belgium.
Fixdit consists of Yra van Dijk, Sanneke van Hassel, Rachida Lamrabet, Jannah Loontjens, Munganyende Hélène Christelle, Christine Otten, Gaea Schoeters, Shantie Singh, Fleur Speet, Manon Uphoff and Annelies Verbeke.
Winternachten Festival, the Royal Conservatory of The Hague and Amare present: In the Dream House
The summer edition of Winternachten Festival concluded in high style in the concert hall of Amare with "In the Dream House." Writers, poets and artists brought their dream house to life in word, imagery and music. It was a program full of bright, warm and dark desires; of ancestors and wise women; of loss and pleasure. You were enchanted by hip-hop icon Sef, Winti priestess Marian Markelo, writers Raoul de Jong and Sanneke van Hassel, singer-songwriter Shishani, spoken-word artist Benzokarim, poet Iman Mersal, and singer Sterre Konijn. Drummers from the Royal Conservatory: guided by Pepe Garcia set the rhythm, and our dream hostess, theatre producer and stand-up philosopher Laura van Dolron ensured that you feel at home right away.
Bring along your home to our dream house
To properly shelter all these dreams, we asked the public as well as artists to share their idea of "home." You brought something with you that feels "like home" or with which you'd brighten your home: a plant, teacup, dishrag or mood lamp... We loved to hear the story behind your dream-house artifact! You could write to us ahead of time or tell us upon arrival; Sanneke van Hassel and Anouk Driessen recorded it and gave it a good spot in the room. In this way we created a living archive of our dream houses together, inspired by the novel In the Dream House by the U.S. writer Carmen Maria Machado. Also, you didn't go home empty-handed, because afterwards you took home someone else's object and story.
With Manon Uphoff, Shantie Singh, Sanneke van Hassel, Raoul de Jong, Müesser Yeniay, Margijn Bosch & Meltem Halaceli
For whom is home actually home? What if your safest place isn't safe at all? Why does "domestic violence" sound like something "domestic" or even cozy? The theme Whose House is This? also requires us to discuss human violence within walls, war and peace under our own roofs, the unsafe interior world that so often remains hiden. Domestic violence, especially against women, is not a matter of isolated incidents but a societal problem. Or, like Manon Uphoff said in an interview: "They are shards that together form a mirror into which society needs to look."
What does literature tell us about this great theme? We invited you to an initial exploration, a collage of literary texts about domestic violence. Manon Uphoff, Iris van Vliet, Shantie Singh and Sanneke van Hassel of the writers' collective Fixdit, together with Meltem Halaceli and Ellen Walraven of Winternachten, collected a large number of literary excerpts for this event.
Writers Manon Uphoff, Sanneke van Hassel, Shantie Singh, Raoul de Jong, Müesser Yeniay, Meltem Halaceli and actor Margijn Bosch read these excerpts in an intimate setting, close to the public. We read works by and sometimes also with the actual authors:
Elif Shafak, Manon Uphoff, Shantie Singh, Margaret Atwood, Rebecca Solnit, Alice Munro, Astrid Roemer, Philip Huff, A.M. Homes, Müesser Yeniay, Ronelda Kamfer and many more. And yes, this could be painful and confrontational. But this topic deserved a literary investigation and probe. What is going on in the various rooms of ever-changing houses in which it is not safe?
Tirade number three, straight from the 450th edition of the literary magazine with the same name, from the soapbox, by Sanneke van Hassel, aimed at a demanding child.
In this 6th edition of the successful series NRC Reading Club Live columnists and NRC editors Elsbeth Etty, Frits Abrahams and writer Sanneke van Hassel together and with the audience read Haruki Murakami's collection of short stories Blind willow, sleeping woman. Editor of NRC Handelsblad's book pages Pieter Steinz leads the conversation.
The Japanese writer Haruki Murakami has an outspoken readership. His multitude of fans can't hear a word of criticism about him. His critics find him greatly overrated. Now that the translation of his trilogy1q84is published part by part that discussion has flared up. The personally phrased, yet highly critical review by Pieter Steinz in NRC Handelsblad for example aroused many disappointed reactions. High time to ask the question: is Murakami a classic in his lifetime or is it time to take the scales off the eyes of the fans? In Dutch.
Read the book and join the debate! Murakami's collected short stories can be ordered from NRC Handelsblad's webshop.