An erotic tale of passion and power and their dangerous consequences
In 1978, Dawit, a young, beautiful, and educated Ethiopian refugee, roams the streets of Paris. By chance, he spots the famous French author M., who at sixty is at the height of her fame. Seduced by Dawit's grace and his moving story, M. invites him to live with her. He makes himself indispensable, or so he thinks. When M. brings him to her Sardinian villa, beside the Bay of Foxes, Dawit finds love and temptation—and perfects the art of deception.
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. Becoming Jane Eyre is her 10th book. 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. She has been published in 8 countries.
“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
“Kohler, a master of psychological intrigue, begins with an encounter in a Parisian café between the famous, sixtyish M. and a young, impoverished refugee named Dawit. The pair decamps to Sardinia’s Bay of Foxes and into a sinister affair.”—Reader’s Digest
"In this elegant, sensuous, literary thriller, set in the poshest enclaves of Paris, Sardinia, and Rome in 1978, Sheila Kohler ignites her narrative with a fairy tale-like encounter between a poor but princely young Ethiopian refuge and a celebrated sixty-year-old Parisian novelist whose exotic history and behavior bring Marguerite Duras sharply to mind.
The mutual ambush of identities Kohler imagines for the boy and the Frenchwoman, the vivid exchange of bad motives and good intentions, make for -- among other pleasures -- an indelibly written hommage to the art of Miss Highsmith and the talents of Mr. Ripley. This is a book to savor on every level."
-Joan Schenkar, author of The Talented Miss Highsmith
“Her work is both spare and sensuous – understated and fraught with tension…involving the reader intensely in the narrative.”
-Joyce Carol Oates, author of We Were the Mulvaneys
“Patricia Highsmith meets Nadine Gordimer in this mesmerizing tale of sex, longing and murder.”
-Jonathan Santlofer, author of The Death Artist
“There is a territory—fictional and psychological—that Sheila Kohler has now marked as her own. . . . I am full of admiration.”
-J. M. Coetzee, Nobel Prize winning author of Summertime and Disgrace
“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, New York Times bestselling author of The Joy Luck Club