Maarten Asscher studied law and became a publisher (as general director of J.M. Meulenhoff Publishers) and a civil servant (as the director of Arts at the Dutch ministry for Education, Culture and Science). He is currently director of Athenaeum Booksellers in Amsterdam. Asscher published short stories, essays, poems, a novel and poetry translations of Paul Valéry, Fernando Pessoa and Thomas Gray. In 2009, his essay H2Olland appeared, while 2013 saw the publication of Appels en peren.