Peirene People

Welcome to our Peirene People webpage. Here we celebrate the people behind the books.

(photo by Roelof Bakker)

Meike Ziervogel, Publisher

Meike is a novelist and publisher. She grew up in northern Germany and came to London in 1986 to study Arabic language and literature. She has worked as a journalist for Reuters in London and Agence France Presse in Paris. In 2008 she founded Peirene Press. In 2012 Meike was voted as one of Britain's 100 most innovative and influential people in the creative and media industries, the Time Out and Hospital Club hClub100 list. Meike is the author of three novels, Magda, Clara's Daughter and Kauthar, all published by Salt in the UK. Her fourth novel, The Photographer, will be released in May 2017.

Contact Meike at



James Tookey, Publishing Assistant

James joined Peirene as a bookseller on the roaming store in Summer 2015, before taking on the role of publishing assistant. He studied literature in Canterbury and Geneva. It was during that time that he discovered the pleasure and importance of translated fiction, and he has been reading and writing about European writers and thinkers ever since.

Contact James at




Sacha Davison Lunt, Designer

Sacha is an independent graphic designer. She has created Peirene's branding. She designs our book covers and is reponsible for the good looks of Peirene's collateral material. 

Sacha graduated from the London College of Printing and has an MA in Hypermedia Studies. She specialises in editorial and book design. She worked as Art Director for the design and architecture magazine, Icon. Her clients include Eye magazine, VirginClassics, Fiell Publishing and Dulux. Sacha has also produced several design books for Taschen GmbH including: Designing the 21st Century, Scandinavian Design
and the Decorative Arts series.

God is in the details.

Contact Sacha at

Visit Sacha's website

Sacha's Peirene Manifesto:

A gift item. A design suitably special to package Meike's little European gems. Something you want to pick up and touch. Something inviting. Something made with love.

I approach each book in the knowledge that it is part of a series. Collectively, the books have a strong identity, but one flexible enough to allow the individual books to retain a sense of their own character, and shine in their own right.

That flexibility is not just about honouring the stories themselves, of course. It's also about allowing myself the freedom to play, to have fun with - or even break - the rules I've set myself, without breaking the brand identity itself. I hope to be designing the books for many years to come, and I don't ever want it to be a chore; Peirene deserves more. Each cover needs to feel familiar but fresh. A guarantee of quality, yet always slightly unexpected.

And finally, the flexibility is there to accommodate - and reflect - the many different voices that come from Peirene. In the past, I've produced books that come in 3 different languages - 3 different languages in one book, that is. Experience has taught me that French is, for example, 10-15 per cent longer than its English equivalent; and German twice that. I loosely reference this spatial difference on the covers, in the boxes that don't quite hold the title. It's not unheard of for people to read this as a mistake, a misprint. But the boxes have been made for other words, another language. These new words don't quite fit, they don't even sit in line. I'm trying to suggest visually the idea that *translation is about interpretation*.

Initially, I came to this design quite instinctively, but since then I've come to understand the lengths to which Meike goes to find translators that take the same approach - not necessarily translating the original word-for-word, but trying instead to find the essence of the book, and then bring it to life for the reader in their native tongue. Peirene's English translations become their own thing. The same but different.