Thursday, December 31, 2009

What is Sheila Kohler reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Sheila Kohler, author of Becoming Jane Eyre and other books.

Her entry begins:
I recently read J.M. Coetzee's Summertime. It is such a remarkably honest and very funny book, a sort of faux-memoir which at the same time contains a great deal of truth. Coetzee writes of himself in the third person (he is supposed to be dead in this book) and a biographer interviews five people, four of them women who tell him about the writer, Coetzee. Their comments are often remarkably unflattering, but contain, we sense, in a wonderfully playful and imaginative way, some...[read on]
Sheila Kohler was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. She later lived in Paris for fifteen years, where she married, completed her undergraduate degree in Literature at the Sorbonne, and a graduate degree in Psychology at the Institut Catholique. She moved to the U.S. in 1981 and earned an MFA in Writing at Columbia. She currently teaches at Princeton University. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, O Magazine and included in the Best American Short Stories. She has twice won an O’Henry Prize, as well as an Open Fiction Award, a Willa Cather Prize, and a Smart Family Foundation Prize. Her novel Cracks was nominated for an Impac Award, and has been made into a feature film to be distributed by IFC.

Among the early praise for Becoming Jane Eyre:
“Kohler offers an imaginative recreation of the woman who created this once-scandalous, now beloved classic. Sensitive, intelligent, and engaging… A beautiful complement to Brontë’s masterpiece.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Becoming Jane Eyre is lush and filled with dark sensuality and the tension of unsaid things. The style is quite different from Charlotte Brontë’s in Jane Eyre, yet the tone and imagery and spirit remain in the same realm. Jane Eyre is one of my favorite books and Sheila Kohler one of my favorite writers.”
—Amy Tan, author of The Joy Luck Club
Visit Sheila Kohler's website.

Writers Read: Sheila Kohler.

--Marshal Zeringue