Creative Writing Faculty

Sheila Kohler

Sheila Kohler headshot

Photo by Marion Ettlinger


Sheila Kohler is the author of the novels The Perfect Place (Knopf, 1989), The House on R Street (Knopf, 1994), Cracks (Zoland, 1999), Children of Pithiviers (Zoland, 2001), Crossways (The Ontario Review Press, 2004), Bluebird or the Invention of Happiness ( Other Press, 2007), Becoming Jane Eyre ( Penguin, 2009), Love Child (Penguin, 2011), Bay of the Foxes (Penguin, 2012), Dreaming for Freud (Penguin, 2014), and Open Secrets (2020), in addition to three collections of short stories: Miracles in America (Knopf, 1990), One Girl (Helicon Nine, 1999), and Stories from Another World (Ontario Review Press 2003).

Kohler's honors include two O'Henry prizes, the Open Voice Award, the Smart Family Foundation prize, The Willa Cather Prize judged by William Gass for One Girl, and the Antioch Review Prize. Two of her short stories have been included in The Best American Short Stories in 1999 and 2013.  From 2003-04, she was a fellow at the New York Public Library’s Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers and a visiting writer at the American Academy of Rome in 2012 and 2013. She was also nominated for an Impac award.

Her work has been published in thirteen countries including France, Germany, Japan, Brazil, Holland, China, England, and Hungary and has been translated into Hebrew, Korean, and Latvian.

Her short fiction has and will appear in The Antioch Review, The American Scholar, The American Voice, The Best American Short Stories, Boulevard, Bomb, The Bellevue Literary Magazine, The Columbia Magazine, Conjunctions, DoubleTake, Ecotone, Ellery Queen’s Mystery magazine, Fiction, Five Points, Hamptons Noir, Hunger Mountain, Subtropics, New Jersey Noir, The KGB Reader, The Massachusetts Review, The Mississippi Review, New Letters, The Ontario Review, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, The Quarterly, Redbook, Story, and The Yale Review.

Kohler's non-fiction has and will appear in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe, Bomb magazine, The New Leader, O magazine, Salmagundi, The American Scholar, New Letters, The New York Sunday Times, The Sunday Telegraph, The Yale Review, and on She has taught creative writing at Bennington, City College, The Chenango Valley Conference at Colgate, Sarah Lawrence, The New School, SUNY Purchase, the West Side YMCA, and Brooklyn College. This year she is teaching at Columbia university and Princeton.

Her novel Cracks has been filmed with Jordan Scott as director and Ridley Scott as executive producer and Eva Green playing Miss G. It appeared at the Toronto and London film festivals and is available on DVD.


“The Meaning of Memoir” | The Center for Fiction, 3/21/17

Camouflage” | The American Scholar, June 2, 2020

The Windmills of our Minds” | The American Scholar, August 3, 2020

“Miss Martin” | The Best American Mystery Stories 2020

The Best Books Vogue Editors Read in 2020” includes Kohler’s novel, Open Secrets| Vogue, Dec. 24, 2020

Once We Were Sisters by Kohler included on list of “35 Memoirs Everyone Should Read” | Reader’s Digest, March 3, 2021

Kohler’s novel, Open Secrets, is longlisted for the 2022 Joyce Carol Oates Prize | New Literary Project, Nov. 10, 2021

A Secret Country” | Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, May/June 2022



Campus Address

Lewis Center for the Arts New South Building, Floor 6

Email Address