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  • 9781913547400_FC
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eBook ISBN

Publication date
6th October 2022


Gallic Books

HB Demy

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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 explores how even in death women can lose agency of their bodies to the absolute extreme. She’s crafted a novel that is 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 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
‘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
‘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
‘A tale of anguished and obsessive love, with a darker version of the truth scattered through it like shrapnel. In her unsettling debut, Heather Parry explores what it means to love and to live – which of our stories linger after death, and which remain impossible to hold. Sumptuously written and impossible to step away from, Orpheus Builds a Girl is a haunting melody of a book, which keeps playing long after the final page’ Katie Hale
‘A wild, creepy, compelling read’ Jan Carson
Orpheus Builds a Girl takes obsession to its creepiest climax. 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
‘A deliciously macabre voyage through one man’s grotesque lunacy and the destruction he leaves in his wake. Parry skilfully evokes the horror at the heart of the tale, painting a series of hallucinatory images as the narrative reaches an extraordinary finale, where the organic is pushed into monstrous proportions’ Martin Macinnes, author of Infinite Ground
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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