By Sheila Kohler
(Other Press, Paperback, 9781590512098, 256pp.)
Publication Date: September 17, 2005
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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Set in a wealthy Johannesburg suburb in the late 1960s, Crossways is a family drama of love and grief. The heroine, Kate, returns from Paris to the family home ("Crossways") for the funeral of her sister Marion. Marion was killed in a car accident that left her husband, Louis, the driver, in intensive care. Amid sometimes loving, sometimes troubling reminiscences of her beloved sister, Kate begins to reflect upon the circumstances of Marion's fatal accident. From his hospital bed, Louis, who overcame a neglectful and impoverished childhood to become a prominent heart surgeon, recalls his early fascination with the glamorous, inseparable sisters. A third perspective is that of John, the Zulu man who essentially raised the sisters, manages Crossways, and keeps all its secrets. The more Kate learns about Louis, the more suspicious she becomes, until finally, her worst fears are confirmed and the novel moves to its shocking but inevitable conclusion.
Sheila Kohler is the author of six previous novels, including Crossways, The Perfect Place, Cracks, and Children of Pithiviers (all available in Other Press editions). A native of South Africa, she makes her home in New York City and teaches at Bennington College in Vermont.
The San Francisco Chronicle
"Hypnotic . . . unsettling . . . a combination domestic drama and psychological thriller."
"Sheila Kohler's best yet . . . exquisitely written and devastating in its depiction of a 'superior' family in a profound state of crisis."
– Patrick McGrath, author of Port Mungo and Spider
"Over Sheila Kohler's lushly erotic South Africa falls the shadow of a sadist and psychopath, handsome, heartless, and disturbingly real."
–J.M. Coetzee, Nobel Prize-winning author of Disgrace
"Compelling and beautifully nuanced . . . a story gloriously imagined."
–Elizabeth Strout, author of Amy and Isabelle