'Powerful' literary memoir to Canongate

'Powerful' literary memoir to Canongate

Canongate is to publish Sheila Kohler's Once We Were Sisters, a "powerful" literary memoir, in early 2017.

Jamie Byng has acquired world rights excluding North America to the title from Charlotte Seymour at Andrew Nurnberg Associates on behalf the Robin Straus Agency in New York.

Kohler's first work of non-fiction is a "riveting and painful" exploration of her complicated past and the murder of her elder sister by her sister's husband in South Africa in 1979.

Byng said: "Once We Were Sisters is devastating, a book that is as beautifully written as it is wise, as poignant as it is page-turning, as outstanding as it is original. Sheila Kohler has been publishing great fiction for years but this memoir is her masterpiece."

Kohler said: "For years I have been writing in fictional form in so many different ways about my sister's death. It was extremely difficult to address this material without the disguise of fiction, yet I finally felt impelled to do it. My sister's six children are all adults now, and her husband has died. I felt the truth, or at least my version if it, needed to be shared with women and men who might confront similar situations, and at least know they are not alone. I hope this book which was so difficult to write might be engaging  to read, might bring hope,  and perhaps help to many in their lives of love and loss."

Kohler is the author of 13 books. Her most recent, Dreaming for Freud, was published by Penguin in 2014.

Canongate will publish in hardback on 2nd February 2017 simultaneously with Penguin in the US. Kohler will be in the UK to promote the title.