“For unto whom much is given, of him shall be much required: this Biblical verse takes on a tragic ring as this memoir of a privileged childhood ends in murder. Sheila Kohler has put together this heartfelt, suspenseful confession with a lifetime’s worth of skill and an abundance of inborn genius.”
—Edmund White, author of A Boy’s Own Story
“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.”
—J. M. COETZEE
“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
July 2011 from Penguin
“Patricia Highsmith meets Nadine Gordimer in this mesmerizing tale of sex, longing and murder.”
—Jonathan Santlofer, author of The Death Artist
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.”
Casey N. Cep- Boston Globe: With an appreciation for their craft and sympathy for their difficult profession, Kohler’s “Becoming Jane Eyre’’ is a tender telling of the Brontë family’s saga and the stories they told.
Lyndall Gordon, author of Vindication: A Life of Mary Wollstonecraft”: A triumph … Kohler brings the whole fascinating and terrible period of the French Revolution and its aftermath to life — a massive feat. With her portrait of noblewoman Lucy Dillon, Kohler offers a wonderful story of a ‘new genus’ of womanhood at that time and demonstrates what a different, pacific, humane world a woman of her caliber could create. A terrific achievement — more graceful, more searching, more truly dramatic than most current fiction.”
Judith Thurman: “I wondered when someone would adapt the intriguing worldly life, the rich inner life and the marvelous prose of Mme de la tour du Pin as a novel. Sheila Kohler has netted this elusive subject like the rare butterfly she was — but alive.”
Newsweek: A reunion of classmates from a South African boarding school. Unforced novella especially good on the naive sensuality and malice of young girls. R.S. xxxx (four stars)
Amazon.com: Put adolescents together in a confined environment with only minimal adult supervision, and bad things will happen–a truism in literature as well as life. (Think The Children’s Hour, think Lord of the Flies.) But in Sheila Kohler’s eerie, atmospheric Cracks, the bad things that will happen are not the ones you might expect, and the message is far more complex than just “Children are savages.” (Although they certainly are.) -Chloe Byrne Read More…
Columbus Dispatch: This collection makes for a satisfying whole, each story urging the reader on to the next until the last page has been turned, leaving only lingering aftertones. — Andrea Weiss, FOR THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
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.
Kirkus Review: August 15, 2004 “Subtle and sharp, a marvelous portrait of the inner lives of two people trapped in an alien world…”–This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
San Francisco Chronicle: October “The hypnotic book, a combination of domestic drama and psychological thriller…hinting at unsettling secrets and later revealing them.”–This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
O Magazine: November 2004 “Sheila Kohler’s novel Crossways is the gripping, often terrifying story of a man who can’t suppress his violent impulses”–This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Times Literary Supplement: “Elegantly disturbing…the language of the “Perfect Place’ yields beautifully to the constraints and expansions of its theme, becoming increasingly more lyrical –and more gripping–as the truth emerges.”
Cosmopolitan: “Chilling and poetic…a glittering and macabre miniature that says more in 150 pages than many blockbusters three of four times its length.”
Vogue: A woman refuses to acknowledge what she knows about a girl’s death: gradually her memories shift to the forefront of her vision and become the focus of the book. ” The Perfect Place” by Sheila Kohler is a remarkable first novel. Short, intense, beautifully written, it is a study in perversity.
The “Perfect Place” is a murder mystery and the clue lies in the workings of this woman’s mind. Inch by inch the story is told, a portrait formed, and the reader is drawn into her claustrophobic, sensual, cruel and hot-house world. Kohler is undoubtedly a talent to watch Feb. 1990.
From Library Journal: Bill, a troubled girl of about 14, lives in a hot place–one of the leftovers of the British empire. Her father is a failed diamond mogul and her mother, a chronic invalid. Left to her own devices, Bill bullies everyone and answers to no one. In lieu of going to school, she goes to town to see the same film over and over again. She lives in a fevered state of eroticism that she attempts to alleviate during her unsupervised visits to town. Read More…
– Joanna M. Burkhardt, Univ. of Rhode Island Coll. of Continuing Education Lib., Providence
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
New York Times Book Review: Sheila Kohler has achieved in this short novel a remarkable atmosphere, a fine delicate fusion of period, society and climate. — Patrick McGrath
People Magazine: “It’s hard to imagine a prose style fitting its subject more aptly than Kohler’s does in this collection of short stories. Her language is disquietingly vague, tantalizingly suggestive–like a painting done in pastels except for surprising streaks of dark, angry color. Her stories reflect a kind of genteel camouflage, with tenuous polite behaviour masking frustation and desire.”
Publishers Weekly: Following her acclaimed 1999 novel, Cracks, Sheila Kohler returns with the spellbinding Children of Pithiviers, once again mining themes of childhood and lost innocence. The specter of Nazism hangs over a small French village where Jewish children were detained before being sent to the gas chambers. Now, 25 years later, Dierdre, an 18-year-old girl with a troubled past, is spending the summer with an aristocratic couple who were somehow involved in those awful wartime goings-on. Dierdre gradually realizes what happened, while at the same time becoming her mysterious hosts’ sexual pawn. Kohler’s elegant prose propels the sinister, almost dreamlike narrative.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.