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Clara's Daughter by Meike Ziervogel
  

Synopsis

Clara's Daughter by Meike Ziervogel

Michele is a successful business woman with a troubled private life. She has a high-powered job, a family, a husband, yet she is defined by a term of possession: she is `Clara's daughter'. Nameless. When Michele moves her mother into the basement, her husband slams the door and disappears into the night. Michele increasingly hides away upstairs, as Clara weaves her conspiracies beneath. Clara's Daughter begins in terraced houses and city parks of North London but develops, through sharp-edged monologues and surreal visions, into a primeval stand-off between mother and daughter. Eventually, Clara - the controlling matriarch - finds a way to release her daughter. But can Michele release herself? Meike Ziervogel is a master of suspenseful storytelling. In Clara's clandestine power games and Michele's increasingly fraught dealings with both her mother and her own highly-strung sister, Hilary, there emerges a chilling, yet poignant family tableau. Devastating in its psychological insights, Clara's Daughter reveals unnerving truths about relationship anxieties on many levels, which emerge not only from Ziervogel's elegant, succinct descriptions, but build steadily from the tense, silent spaces between the unfolding of main events. A divinely-crafted, almost cinematic novella, Clara's Daughter is at once startling, moving and intensely enduring.

Reviews

At a striking pace, the narrative switches between the perspectives of different characters, and the sense of emotional disconnect between them becomes ever more visceral and claustrophobic. -- ANNA SAVVA * The Lady * This searching, beautifully written novel gets to the heart of woman's attempts to step out of the role of her mother's daughter, and make sense of the person she has become. Terrific. -- KATE SAUNDERS * The Times * Clara's Daughter is a devastating tale of our times... beautifully written, compelling and emotionally intelligent, it is a masterful achievement and represents the work of an author with a deep understanding of the frailty of human nature. -- PAM NORFOLK * Lancashire Evening Post * Stark and acutely observed realism... The result is visceral, bleak and moving. -- Claire Kohda Hazelton * Guardian * Ziervogel's prose is generally superb, with true flair and an originality that is rare when confronting such an everyday subject. -- ROISIN O'CONNOR * Independent on Sunday * The deftly arranged sequence of scenes gradually reveals the fears and needs of each protagonist and their relationships with each other, outlined with a careful, thoughtful style that creates an unusual atmosphere of charged bleakness. Strange, but oddly impressive. -- HARRY RITCHIE * Daily Mail * This is an intelligent, acute and horrifically intense book. It didn't so much take my breath away as make me gasp for air. -- SAM JORDISON * The Observer * This frank, disturbing novel is an intriguing mix of fact and fiction and pulls no punches. The author sets out to use the story to examine the psychological theory that unloved daughters destroy the people they love and then themselves ... Ziervogel explores this disturbing theory with haunting originality and real flair. -- CHRISTENA APPLEYARD * The Daily Mail * 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 * The Sunday Times *


About the Author

Meike Ziervogel grew up in Germany and came to Britain in 1986. Her debut novel Magda was shortlisted for the Guardian's Not the Booker prize and nominated as a book of the year 2013 by the Irish Times, Observer and Guardian readers. Meike's second and third novel, Clara's Daughter (2014) and Kauthar (2015), were both published to critical acclaim. Meike is the publisher of Peirene Press.

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Book Info

Publication date

15th September 2014

Author

Meike Ziervogel

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Publisher

Salt Publishing

Format

Paperback
144 pages

Categories

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9781907773792

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