Meike Ziervogel/Writer

Kauthar: Reviews

'Visceral and compelling, Ziervogel draws on the traditions of Islamic and Christian mysticism, and on sharp obervations of contemporary society, to give a deeply uncomfortable glimpse into the mind of a misfit-turned-extremist.' Juanita Coulson, The Lady

'Ziervogel writes with insight and fluency, articulating a profound empathy with those at the extreme reaches of their endurance. Searingly contemporary, Kauthar sketches out a humane and subtle counterpoint to the distorted debate surrounding religious radicalisation, and in doing so is resonant and timely.' Lettie Kennedy, Oberserver

'Ziervogel goes bravely to the bleakest points of humanity and illuminates them with her lyrical and enthralling prose... It is a book that demands to be swallowed in one sitting, despite its bitter contents; one that, in its intensity, resonates and echoes for days after finishing it.' Claire Hazelton, Guardian

‘This is a novel that cuts into the heart of a modern taboo – the white British female who chooses to become a Muslim – with sensitivity and insight… [Ziervogel's] strong, spare writing cuts to the heart of a shocking story.’ Kate Saunders, Times

'It seems, for a while, that this is a novel about a woman who has two consequetive lives... As the book's double ending hits you, you see there weren't just two versions of the narrator but four. One inside the other, like Russian dolls.' William Leith, Evening Standard


 '[T]he fact that Ziervogel manages to tease out so many complexities over such a short novel says much about the piercing clarity of her writing. While displaying a rare talent for brevity, she also makes important space for listening to challenging perspectives and worldviews that are not often heard in mainstream debates, and arguably need to be.' Jenna Isherwood, Quadrapheme

'It's a convincing narrative of how one woman could arrive at this particular and terrible decision, it's also a discussion worth having, and not just around Islamic extremism. Ziervogel gets more and more interesting as a writer. I can't wait to see what she tackles next.' Desperate Reader

'As a German, if writing Magda was brave, then her new novel, Kauthar, the story of a white British girl who converts to Islam, shows even greater courage and daring in taking on a taboo subject.' Shiny New Books

'This is without doubt another stunning, thought-provoking novella from Meike Ziervogel. Like those she publishes, the stories she writes tackle subjects that others might shy away from; they may be short but are deep and satisfying  - it doesn't feel an extra page or dozen would add anything.' Our Book Reviews Online

'There is nothing else like it. The word ‘unique’ is tossed about, given to everything so that it looses its meaning; in Kauthar it has a worthy cause... a very different book about identity that outclasses many others.' The Worm Hole

'Kauthar is a beautiful book, Ziervogel writes as though each word were a deep consideration.. a beautiful look at the bright and dark side of religion and what we will do for love.' Alice Farrant, We Love This Book

'With characteristic power and acuity, Ziervogel encourages us to shed our preconceptions and view the world through the eyes of another, who may not be as wildly different from us as we first thought...Uniquely qualified to write this tale of a woman’s conversion to Islam, Ziervogel is able to write and speak Arabic and holds an MA in Arabic Literature. ’ Jennifer Acton, For Books' Sake