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 writer 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.

Contact Meike at



(photo by Loy Olsen)

Clara Ministral, Publishing Assistant

Clara is a literary translator from Madrid who has translated over ten books from English into Spanish, the vast majority of them novels. She has been permanently based in London since 2009, having previously studied here, and has been involved with Peirene since September 2013. Although she is an ardent fan of Anglo-American literature, her background means she is obviously a huge advocate of the importance of translated fiction, and the insights and breadth that can be garnered from reading writers from around the world.

Contact Clara at



Jennifer Cairns, Roaming Store & Book Club

Jennifer manages our roaming store and leads the bi-monthly Peirene Book Club. She has been part of the Peirene team since September 2012 and knew it was her ideal job when Meike explained her first task – to read all Peirene books.

“I love talking about these beautiful books. As a reader it has opened up a whole new world of amazing literature and I am so passionate about each title we have published.” she says. "I also develop personal relationships with our readers and get to know their stories. It is so enjoyable for me and nothing beats the feeling of recommending a title to someone, then seeing them come back to the store, eager to read another Peirene book.'

Jennifer is a freelance writer. Previously she has worked as a nanny, an accounts assistant and a waitress. She always takes jobs that allow her time to write and is currently working on her first novel.

Contact Jennifer 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.