Gothic. Obsession. Possession.
  • Exquisite Corpse
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Exquisite Corpse

Marija Peričić

Romance is dead...

He pulled up his stool and looked me over carefully, lightly touching my skin here and there.
‘Because, my sweet girl, you are so very beautiful and that beauty deserves to be recorded for the world to see.’

Beautiful but impoverished Lina Dahlstrom is dying of tuberculosis and it seems that no one can save her. All hope is lost until an eccentric doctor, Carl Dance, becomes enthralled with Lina’s charms and vows to do everything in his power to cure her. But when the illness inevitably claims Lina’s life, Dance’s obsession with her only grows and so begins a mad and criminal scheme to bring her back from beyond the grave and claim her as his own forever.

Set in Stockholm in 1930 and based on true events, Exquisite Corpse is a story about the madness and horror of a romance that knows no bounds.

About the Author

Marija Peričić is a writer based in Melbourne. Her first novel, The Lost Pages, won The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award 2017 and was shortlisted for the 2017 Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction. She was named as a 2018 Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Australian Novelist. Exquisite Corpse is her second novel.


‘Haunting.’ – Australian Women’s Weekly


‘There are stories which haunt one forever and come out like ghosts for the retelling. This is one of them.’ – Herald Sun


morbid, confronting and intoxicating’ – Artshub


‘A brilliant hammer-swing at the notion that a woman is her most beautiful in death, Peričić’s darkly visceral account of entitlement and deluded obsession is jaw-dropping. Exquisite Corpse is ingenious Australian gothic at its macabre best.’ – Sarah Schmidt, author of The Blue Hour and See What I Have Done


‘Historical fiction for a post #metoo world, Exquisite Corpse gets to the bone-tingling core of why consent matters, and always has.’ – Pip Smith, author of Half Wild


‘Peričić’s retelling takes a more realistic approach to explore how romanticising grand gestures can mask the darker side of love, including coercive control and obsession.’ – Harper’s Bazaar


‘a darkly compelling exploration of the subtle and not so subtle ways in which men controlled the lives of women in 1930s Stockholm … To reference the cover quote by Sarah Schmidt, author of the grisly See What Have Done, your jaw will drop and may never close again.’ – Readings Monthly


‘bold and boundary-pushing … Peričić makes the tale her own, handing back power to the women it was stolen from – and reclaiming their story.’ – Guardian


‘a clever exercise in revealing the rot inherent in toxic romance narratives’ – Sydney Morning Herald




Pub Date
June 2023




Gothic, Romance, Obsession