Kohler's new novel is Dreaming for Freud.
A few days ago I asked the author about what she was reading. Kohler's reply:
I have been rereading Freud's case histories for my novel which comes out this May and also for the classes I'm teaching this semester. The more I reread these five case histories: Dora, Little Hans, The Ratman; the Wolfman and the President Schreber the more skillful they seem to me. Freud, of course, was well-read and quotes often from Shakespeare, for example. Still his taste was conservative in literature as it was in art, and perhaps the influence of a mystery writer like Conan Doyle is prevalent here. He creates suspense and mystery from the start of each of these cases. What is wrong, we wonder with "Little Hans" for example, a lively five year old child who is suddenly terrified of horses.Visit Sheila Kohler's website.
The characters in these case histories are fascinating: the minor as well as the major ones. An example of a minor character is the seductive sister in the Wolfman case, who seduces him when he's a little boy. She is brilliant, writes poetry, and ultimately commits suicide by poison after a visit to Lermontov's grave.
I recommend all five of the case histories as excellent reading though one might conclude that our narrator, the Great Detective Dr. Freud, is a somewhat unreliable one.
Writers Read: Sheila Kohler (December 2009).