Book Review Quotes

The Boy on the Green Bicycle ( Soho Press, 1999)


“The Boy on the Green Bicycle scared me, and I mean that as a compliment. Instead of simply valorizing or sentimentalizing the imagination, Diehl gives it its due as a ferocious, drug-like force. The lion who looks like a friend to the fanciful child is also, as the adult knows, a wild animal. Diehl fearlessly inhabits both points of view.”

Stephanie D’Erasmo, New York Times Book Review

“[Diehl’s] book is a triumph of honesty. In exploring the depths of her loss, she powerfully evokes what it is to grieve.”

John Freeman, Salon

“‘Not another memoir,’ I can hear you moan. But yes, this one is really worth it… What makes this memoir unique is that it oozes no balm to quell the raw pains that experience metes out to us all.”

Stacy Bush, The Austin Chronicle

In dissecting pivotal moments of her tragic New Jersey childhood (death and mental illness cripple her seemingly glamorous Southern-rooted family), novelist Diehl (Me and You, etc.) pieces together a sensual portrait of the artist as a young woman. Her domestic imagery, simultaneously soothing and uncanny, brings readers directly and joyfully into the 1950s and ’60s household of her publishing executive father, effortlessly graceful mother and three siblings. Diehl respects her childhood self and takes care not to adulterate the girl’s point of view…The details leading up to the tragedies unfold with exceptional narrative restraint, infused with, but not rushed by, emotion….A brief, spell-breaking final chapter summarizes Diehl’s adult attempts to deal with her childhood trauma. If Diehl sometimes waxes too reverent about her past, the wonderfully rendered precocious enthusiasms of her childhood self always outrun her nostalgia. The story of her family’s survival is testament to her mother’s strength, and to her own.

Publisher’s Weekly


Me And You (Soho Press, 1990)


“Some authors can get the reader so lost in words and images that the story becomes secondary. Some authors tell such good stories the reader couldn’t care less about the language. Then here are those authors who can do both equally well. Margaret Diehl is one of those authors.”

Elizabeth D. Dickie, The Richmond Times-Dispatch

“…the book is beautifully written…a fascinating exploration of a young woman’s search for self and love.”

Dan Cryer, Newsday

“I admire Margaret Diehl for taking on so boldly the subject of women drinkers in recovery.”

Elizabeth Benedict, New York Times Book Review

“Diehl’s writing is fluid and inspired.”

London Sunday Times


Men (Soho Press, 1988)


“The search for love in a sexual odyssey. The heroine is a sexual adventurer…She’s as bold and curious as a 15th century explorer testing the far reaches of the Atlantic. Within the erotic, she believes, are uncharted worlds more fabulous than the known…Beautifully and uniquely imagined.”

Dan Cryer, Newsday

“Margaret Diehl has a poetic gift…the richness of this book shines through.”

Howard Coale, The New York Times Book Review

“Her narrative style is lyrically ebullient, charged with moments of magic and myth that betray literary influences as diverse as Colette and Garcia Marquez.”

Amy Boaz, Elle

“It’s a sensual, erotic read…Diehl dares to see and figure out the nature of passion. Beautifully written…thoughtful and thought-provoking.”

Sherri Halgren, The San Francisco Chronicle

“Diehl’s language is as pungent as a lilac tree in bloom. A dry and aphoristic wit—the voice of grown up—undercuts the youthful ardor. The novel isn’t sexy in the mechanical, aerobic way we’ve come to associate with ‘erotic’ novels. Instead it expands the notion of sexual passion to include many forms of intimacy…Men is beautifully written, with a poet’s patience, compression, and
respect for the realm of the senses.”

Marni Jackson, The Toronto Star


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