Meike Ziervogel/Writer

Magda: Reviews

IRISH TIMES BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2013

OBSERVER BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2013

GUARDIAN READERS' BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2013

SHORT LISTED FOR GUARDIAN'S NOT THE BOOKER PRIZE 2013

 

'This was by far the most intense, impressive and unexpected book on the shortlist. It's the one that provoked the strongest emotional and intellectual reaction and more simply seemed to me to be the best written.' Sam Jordison, Guardian, Not The Booker Prize

'Challenging, clever, and fascinating as an insight into how generations of Germans are summoning the courage to address the horror of the last century.' Amanda Craig, Independent

'Ziervogel is the brave woman who set up Peirene Press five years ago … Her own debut novel displays similar nerve … This is an ambitious and queasily unsettling novel.' David Mills, Sunday Times

'Ziervogel explores this disturbing theory with haunting originality and real flair.' Christena Appleyard, Daily Mail

'Told in spare, simple prose, Ziervogel's depiction of a likely afterlife for Magda and her children... is particularly powerful.' Lesley McDowell, Independent on Sunday

'Magda is a triumph of complex, cross-generational, feminist psychology, a spellbinding mix of fact and fiction... A daring and intelligent debut.' Pam Norfolk, Lancashire Evening Post

'I felt for this woman in a way I would not have believed possible.' Jane Garvey, BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour 

'The debut novel of the founder of Peirene Press, Meike Ziervogel, carries many of the hallmarks of her publishing ethos. It's short, beautifully packaged by Salt Publishing, and the themes are hard-hitting and distinctly European.' Lucy Popescu, The Tablet

'A powerful climax.' Anthony Cummins, Metro

'History has painted Magda Goebbels as the Medea of the Third Reich, but that hasn't dissuaded Meike Ziervogel from constructing a psychological profile that attempts to explain how a woman can murder her own children.' Alfred Hickling, Guardian

'In her book, Meike uses the brutal story of Magda as a vehicle to examine the psychology behind familial murder and to explore deep-rooted and destructive relationships between mothers and their daughters.' Simon Yaffe, Jewish Telegraph


 'A strange, intelligent book.' Deborah Levy, Author of Swimming Home

 'Straddling historical fact and fiction, this gem of a novel probes the dark material of malignant relations between mothers and daughters across generations. It’s a gripping read, a subtle portrait of a woman history made  monstrous, here reinvented with intelligence and story-telling flair.' Lisa Appignanesi, Author of Mad, Bad and Sad

'Stunning debut ... Without judging or legitimising, she carefully draws out the mother from the monster that history has created.' Bidisha


'Meike Ziervogel's Magda [is]probably the bravest work of historical fiction I have ever read. Brave in that it takes, as its central character, the personality of Magda Goebbels... It is certainly not a light read, but it is short, succinct, and as deeply memorable as it is profoundly humane.' Time Present and Time Past

'The structure, plotting, and the execution of the story is top notch. What Ziervogel has done is remove everything but the one event she wishes to talk about, exploring other occasions only when an explanation of the characters is required.' The Worm Hole

'Ziervogel’s writing is studiously matter-of-fact for the most part, but the complex narrative structure is skilfully handled, with the ‘Vision’ section particularly impressive. The tone avoids the temptation towards preachiness or kitsch, delivering a weighty psychological assessment of its subject in 113 pages.' Workshy Fop

'As a novella, Magda doesn’t waste words, yet it manages to depict the depth of the three generations of its female characters. While it succeeds here, the end remains shocking and disturbing, unjustified, it is impossible to accept.' Word By Word

'It's good to read about these names from history as people rather than monsters, and worthwhile to try and understand what drives a person to do terrible things. The result is something that has lingered in my mind and imagination weeks after reading it.' Desperate Reader

'This is an exceptionally brave attempt at trying to unravel a complex character and has been done so with finesse. ...Empowering the reader to make assumptions on what life may have been like for Magda and her children had they survived.' Ramblings of an Inner City Working Girl

 'An absorbing and at times harrowing tale.' Foyles

'This fictionalised biography, a debut novel, is an absolute gem. (10/10)' Annebell's House of Books

'Magda, would make for excellent debates on structure and form for any Writer’s group or Book club.  A haunting novella, with the perfect mix of imagination and fact. I highly recommend this book, but don’t expect, once you have put it down, to rest with ease.' Marella's Place

'It’s the sort of book that I think would be described as ‘ambitious’, given how many different styles and how much is touched upon in its 115 pages, but ‘ambitious’ feels like a word you apply to something that doesn’t quite meet its goals.  I think this does.' Mischief and Miscellany

'9 out of 10 – I found this a truly unique, fascinating read and one which has prompted me to seek out more literary studies and research on Magda Goebbels.' The Friendly Shelf

‘A disturbing book but one I'd recommend to anyone with interests from psychological profiling to Hitler's Germany.’ Our Book Reviews Onine

'Meet a woman who, despite praying to remain virginal, had seven children. Meet a woman whose mother thought her hoity-toity, and spoilt, and who thought she should go to work in a factory at school age to know her place better. Meet a woman of whom her oldest daughter would write I don't care what Mother says. Mother isn't always right. No, she definitely isn't. All three women are, of course, one and the same, and they're Magda Goebbels, the woman who epitomised more than anyone the Nazi wife.' The Bookbag