Sheila Kohler

Welcome to the official site for Sheila Kohler.

"When my sister died a violent death thirty years ago in apartheid South Africa, my writing took a new turn.  I was driven to explore the reasons for violence within intimate relationships, in particular, the abuse of power and privilege. Since then I have published nine novels, three collections of short stories, and several others not yet collected, all of which focus in some way on this theme. They represent my attempt to delve into the mysteries of hate and anger, and of love and compassion, as well.  I am hoping that you will share them with me." 

Latest News
World Rights sold for "Once we were sisters" -

Sheila has sold the world rights to "Once we were sisters" my memoir, to Jamie Byng at Canongate in England. The book is forthcoming in the States in January and in February in England.

Sheila's New Blog -

Sheila Kohler is now blogging for Pscychology Today at:

Three New Essays on Freud -

 Three new essays will be coming out on Freud in the Yale Review, Boulevard and New Letters.

Sheila's Latest Novel -

Sheila Kohler's latest novel, "Dreaming for Freud" published by Penguin

Praise for Sheila Kohler:

"Kohler handily exploits the therapeutic deadlock between the two principals to reveal character. Freud’s insecurities, frustrations, self-absorption and longing—for a more prosperous existence, for a trip to Rome, for the return of his estranged friend Fliess—are sensitively evoked, as are Dora’s internal conflicts.

As both the patient’s and the doctor’s vulnerabilities are exposed, the very nature of a person’s “story” is called into question."

"Sheila Kohler has written a slyly subversive, subtle and sensuous revisionist interpretation of Sigmund Freud and his iconic Dora case that might be subtitled "The Analyst Analyzed." 
—Joyce Carol Oates

"There is a territory—fictional and psychological—that Sheila Kohler has now marked as her own. It is a real achievement. I am full of admiration."

"Her stories are elegant, smooth, and gorgeously sensual, belying the tension that crackles beneath. Long after I’ve finished reading one of her stories, the image continues to pulse."
—AMY TAN, author of The Joy Luck Club

Cathy Medwich puts "Becoming Jane Eyre" at the top of her list of romantic reads -

Becoming Jane Eyre By Sheila Kohler
256 pages; Penguin
With Becoming Jane Eyre, Sheila Kohler joins the swelling ranks of novelists who imagine the inner lives of classic female English writers: this time, Charlotte Brontë. A buttoned-up, dutiful daughter and sometime governess, Charlotte was irresistibly drawn to a married French professor she dubbed "her Master" and "her black swan," apparently the inspiration for Jane Eyre's smoldering Mr. Rochester. What sets this story apart is Kohler's feel for the prickly drama behind the romance, as the three talented Brontë sisters—Charlotte, Emily, and Anne—vie for the only thing more seductive than a brooding gentleman in a drafty mansion: that is, of course, literary fame.
— Cathleen Medwick Review of Love Child -

Read the review of  "Love Child"

New York Journal of Books review of Love Child -

 Read the New York Journal of Books review of "Love Child

Publisher's Weekly Review of Love Child -

 Read the review of "Love Child

 read more ...
Latest Reviews
Dreaming For Freud

Dreaming For Freud

New York Times Review by Liesl Schindler

Read More [PDF]

 The Bay Of Foxes

The Bay Of Foxes

Published in July 2012
“Shelia Kohler's The Bay Of Foxes is a sexy subtle psychological thriller. With delicate and terrifying grace Kohler illuminates the complex hidden lives of her characters, whose needs and desires transgress the bounds of the familiar and comfortable. This seductive and wonderfully unexpected tale confirms Sheila Kohler's place as a master of the novel.”
—A.M. Homes, author of The Mistress’s Daughter

“An elegant, sensuous, literary thriller, set in the poshest enclaves of Paris, Sardinia, and Rome… and an indelibly written hommage to the art of Miss Highsmith and the talents of Mr. Ripley.A book to savor on every level.”— Joan Schenkar, author of The Talented Miss Highsmith 

 Love Child

Love Child

Lois Henderson of Stellenbosch University in South Africa: "Ms. Kohler’s work should not be overlooked, as it holds open a vista of a whole new generation of filmmaking in, and about, South Africa.”


Bluebird or the Invention of Happiness

J.M. Coetzee, author of Slow Man: "Sheila Kohler brings her courageous and resourceful heroine vividly to life in a stirring story of revolutionary times."



J. M. Coetzee: "There is a territory—fictional and psychological—that Sheila Kohler has now marked as her own. I am full of admiration.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition."



Elle: "Smoothly confident and erotic…a tale resonant with a chilling power all its own."

For film reviews of the film release of Cracks, Click Here


Children of Pithiviers