Sanneke van Hassel / Sanneke van Hassel – Common Ground

Sanneke van Hassel – Common Ground

Sanneke van Hassel – Common Ground

Read a sample translation of Common Ground


About the book

An urban novel on good intentions and fear of the unknown

Johannes has worked for years in the heart of the city with homeless people and drug addicts. He has started a garden in the grounds of their crisis centre, secretly nostalgic for the meadows of his childhood. From her apartment opposite, Landa, with a baby in her arms, looks out on the messy complex. She dreams of a park with swings and wants the crisis centre removed. Having failed to convince the neighbourhood, she forges a plan.

‘When the door slides open, she runs into the corridor. The apartment building is a complex of cells, the residents shutting themselves off from the city behind their front doors. She needs a junkie in order to get into her house.’

A current, self-assured novel about loneliness and life in a rapidly changing city. To read in one sitting. - ALGEMEEN DAGBLAD

‘Sanneke van Hassel places her finger with startling accuracy on the sore spot of the current era. - TZUM

Hassel is in the tradition of Raymond Carver, Nescio and Campert. - DE LIMBURGER

Few writers are as capable as Sanneke van Hassel at portraying the spirit of the times. She also manages, without any great drama, to finely sketch the balancing act between different interests in her new novel 'Common Ground'. - HAARLEMS DAGBLAD


Sanneke van Hassel (b. Rotterdam, 1971) was awarded the BNG New Literature Prize in 2008 for her first two story collections, Ice Rain (2005) and White Feather (2007). Her novel Nest appeared in 2010, followed by the collections Donkey (2012) and Here I Stay (2014). Ten years after her debut, Jan van Mersbergen made a selection of her stories that was published as The Mornings. In 2013 she won the Anna Blaman Prize for her oeuvre and recently the Times Literary Supplement praised her story ‘Indian Time’ in The Penguin Book of Dutch Short Stories.

Additional book information

  • Novel
  • ISBN 9789023454274
  • Number of pages: 224
  • World rights: De Bezige Bij
  • Price: € 19,99
  • English sample translation available