Synopses & Reviews
An award-winning author reimagines one of Freuds most famous and controversial cases
Acclaimed for her spare prose and exceptional psychological insights in her novels Becoming Jane Eyre and Love Child, Sheila Kohlers latest is inspired by Sigmund Freuds Dora: An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria. Dreaming for Freud paints a provocative and sensual portrait of one of historys most famous patients.
In the fall of 1900, Doras father forces her to begin treatment with the doctor. Visiting him daily, the seventeen-year-old girl lies on his ottoman and tells him frankly about her strange life, and above all about her father's desires as far as she is concerned. But Dora abruptly ends her treatment after only eleven weeks, just as Freud was convinced he was on the cusp of a major discovery. In Dreaming for Freud, Kohler explores what might have happened between the man who changed the face of psychotherapy and the beautiful young woman who gave him her dreams.
Praise for Sheila Kohler's work:
“Kohler is undoubtedly a talent to watch.” - Vogue
“Hypnotic…unsettling…a combination of domestic drama and psychological thriller.” - San Francisco Chronicle
“Erotic and disturbing.” - Vanity Fair
“Riveting…. Kohlers writing is so smoothly confident and erotic that she has produced a tale resonant with a chilling power all its own” - Elle
“Spare, haunting” - Marie Claire
“A real master of narrative.” - Kirkus
“Her themes of displacement and alienation cut to the heart as she quietly strips away the tales we tell ourselves in order to go on from day to day.” - Booklist
“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
“Sheila Kohlers timeless stories are always transporting. The elegance of her writing underscores the charged, disturbing behavior she presents so vividly.” - Amy Hempel
“I was absolutely enthralled reading Sheila Kohlers latest collection. Her stories are elegant, smooth, and gorgeously sensual, belying the tension that crackles beneath. Long after Ive finished reading one of her stories, the image continues to pulse.” - Amy Tan
“Compelling and beautifully nuanced.” - Elizabeth Strout
Praise for Dreaming for Freud:
“Known for her expressive writing and insightful explorations of her characters inner lives, Kohler is the ideal novelist to relate the story of Sigmund Freud and his best-known patient, the pseudonymous Dora....With delicate precision, Kohler traces their ongoing dynamic.”—Booklist
“The sensual prose re-creates bourgeois 1900s Vienna and surrounding mountain resorts with a seductive lushness that draws the reader in. The authors deftly perceptive characterizations, meanwhile—a nuance here, a reference there—create alternately sympathetic and frustrated reactions to both the patient and the doctor....Kohlers intelligent novel will be very much enjoyed by fans of Karen Mack and Jennifer Kaufmans Freuds Mistress.”—Library Journal
About the Author
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 is the author of thirteen works of fiction, including the novels Becoming Jane Eyre and Cracks, which was nominated for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and made into a film starring Eva Green. 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. Kohler teaches at Princeton University and lives in New York City.