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  • 9781913547660_FC
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eBook ISBN

Publication date
8th June 2023


Gallic Books


Extent (number of pages)


UK, BC (exc. Canada), Europe

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Orpheus Builds A Girl

Author Heather Parry


A truly chilling modern Gothic, based on a true story of sexual obsession and evil masquerading as love.

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‘I rest easy; I could not have done a thing more for my beloved, nor could I have shown my love in any greater way.’

Wilhelm von Tore is dying. As he looks back on his life he reflects on his upbringing in Dresden, his beloved grandmother and his medical career during the second world war. But mostly he remembers his darling Luci, the great love of his life, his dark-haired beauty promised to him in a dream years before they met.

Though only together for a few months in her first life, their love is written in the stars. Using scientific research compiled over decades, Wilhelm ensures that, for him and his beloved, death is only the beginning.

But through the cracks in Wilhelm’s story there is another voice, that of Gabriela, and she will not let this version of events go unchallenged. She tells the story of her sister Luciana, fearless and full of life, and the madman who robbed her from her grave.

Based on a chilling true story, Orpheus Builds a Girl is the debut novel from award-winning author Heather Parry.

Praise for Orpheus Builds a Girl
‘A compelling, creepy tale – and one that raises relevant questions about who “owns” a woman’s body’ The Independent
‘A chilling exploration of power, love and grief, written with incredible precision and an almost uncanny ear for voice. Heather Parry is a major talent’ Julia Armfield, author of Our Wives Under the Sea
‘I am in awe of this wonderful book. Truly, gorgeous, generous and tender and brutal. Heather is an incredibly powerful writer and this novel is an absolute horrible, beautiful, heartfelt, wild and tender triumph’ Edward Carey, author of Little
‘Superbly creepy from the start . . . It’s a modern take on classic Gothic fiction, and while it certainly owes a debt to the likes of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, it breaks new ground of its own and will chill readers to the bone. Disturbing and compelling in equal measure’ The Big Issue
‘A chilling story of deranged infatuation, medical abuse, coercion and power’ The Skinny
‘Heather Parry is a literary star of the future. I’ve been a fan of her writing for years, and this novel is all I hoped for and more. Bold, sinister and debate-provoking’ Kirsty Logan, author of Things We Say in the Dark
‘Heather Parry is terrifyingly brilliant, one of the most interesting and talented British writers to emerge in recent memory. Orpheus Builds a Girl is a sinister dark flower of a book, both intoxicating and beautiful’ Camilla Grudova, author of Children of Paradise
‘A wild, creepy, compelling read’ Jan Carson, author of The Raptures
‘A deliciously macabre voyage through one man’s grotesque lunacy and the destruction he leaves in his wake’ Martin MacInnes, author of In Ascension
‘The most eerily fascinating Gothic novel I’ve read in ages, filled with gorgeous, grotesque prose – as if Carlos Ruiz Zafon had written LolitaP. J. Ellis, author of Love & Other Scams
‘Sinister, grotesque and strangely beautiful – this is an intensely gripping debut, the playground for vividly unforgettable characters and a twisting, seething story, all set on a background of mustily creeping dread. I loved every horrible moment’ Alice Ash, author of Paradise Block
‘A tale of anguished and obsessive love, with a darker version of the truth scattered through it like shrapnel . . . Sumptuously written and impossible to step away from, Orpheus Builds a Girl is a haunting melody of a book’ Katie Hale, author of My Name is Monster
‘Dark, disturbing and woven through with a brilliant edge of hope. Heather Parry has created two complete and captivating voices that will play on my mind for a long, long time’ Kylie Whitehead, author of Absorbed
‘An instant gothic classic. Parry’s deft mastery of dual narrators and unflinching attention to macabre and horrifying detail makes for a read both unsettling and compelling’ Kenny Boyle, author of The Tick and the Tock of the Crocodile Clock
‘Heather Parry explores how even in death women can lose agency of their bodies to the absolute extreme . . . Mesmerising, grotesque, sympathetic and gripping in equal measure’ Books From Scotland
‘An unhinged and frighteningly intelligent gothic horror that explores themes of migration, male privilege, sisterhood, and more’ Books and Bao
Heather Parry

Meet the author

Heather Parry was born in Rotherham and lives in Glasgow. She has won the Bridge Award for an Emerging Writer, Cove Park’s Emerging Writer Residency and the Laxfield Literary Launch Prize. In 2021 she was a Hawthornden Fellow. Orpheus Builds a Girl is her first novel.

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