Author

Erna Sassen

Erna Sassen (b. 1961) is a well-known Dutch actress, cabaret artiste and author. She made her debut in 2004 with the children’s book De gemeenste opa van Europa and went on to write a number of other books for younger children. In 2009, her first book for young adults was published: Dit is geen dagboek, in which a boy writes about his mother’s suicide. Kom niet dichterbij (2014), like the featured title, is about a relationship between a student and a drama teacher and was also partly inspired by the author’s own experiences. Er is geen vorm waarin ik pas was unanimously praised in the Dutch press.

This Is Not a Diary

This Is Not a Diary

(Leopold, 2009, 132 pages)

What is the book about?
Erna: This Is Not a Diary is an intense novel about the inner emotional life of 16-year-old Boudewijn, whose mother has thrown herself in front of a train. I tried to make the book hard and raw, but also loving and sometimes humorous. Boudewijn develops as a person: he finally manages to let go of his anger and to feel his grief. The book has a hopeful ending. Although it’s not a self-help book, I think that many young people and adults may gain something from it. I hope it offers comfort.

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Don’t Tell Me What I Am

Don’t Tell Me What I Am

(Leopold, 2017, 216 pages)

A schoolgirl suffering from a burnout tries to understand and process her traumatic experience. A fragmentary book full of conversations, memories and song lyrics, about a teenager’s search for herself.

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