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Cover image of novel, Francesca Multimortal by V.C. Peisker, shows multiple, progressively fading images of a statue of a woman's face.

Francesca Multimortal V.C. Peisker

If you’d already died five times, would you be scared to die again? If you lived six lives, what would you learn?

One woman, six lives, five centuries. From Renaissance Italy and Amsterdam to revolutionary France and Russia, to Eastern Europe and finally Australia, Francesca is a woman of many times and places. Awaiting her final, natural death, 21st-century Francesca looks back on her previous lives with tough-minded clarity and humour, finding that there’s always a price to pay for being her own woman. This novel in six novellas contemplates life, death, love, sex, gender, ageing, war and politics through a gallery of diverse characters deftly placed in a variety of historical settings. Francesca’s lives and deaths will keep you reading till the end.

Shortlisted for the Dorothy Hewett Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, 2023.


Review quotes

"Francesca Multimortal is a daring and profound novel that cascades through the reincarnations of Francesca as she lives out her lives at pivotal points in European history. Recently diagnosed with terminal cancer, the latest Francesca is 58 years old and living in Covid-stricken Melbourne. It is from this vantage point that the previous lives unfold with a subtle and mesmerising force. A beautifully realised novel that opens up the dimensions of life and how it is to be a woman."

     —Judges’ comments, Dorothy Hewett Award for an Unpublished Manuscript 2023

"The creative and imaginative flair of this novel is matched by meticulous research and carefully curated historical detail. But be assured this is a jaunty tale with fascinating twists and turns as we come to love and learn from the Francesca(s)"

     —Charlotte Williams OBE, award-winning Welsh-Guyanese author, academic and cultural critic

"The development of the characters of the various Francescas within thought-provoking historical contexts makes for an engrossing read. The novel provides a stark reminder of how women have been suppressed over the centuries."

     —John Inverarity, Educator and Australian test cricketer and selector

V.C. Peisker About the author

Trained in political science, education, women’s studies and sociology, V.C. Peisker worked as a high school teacher, journalist, radio producer, freelance author, translator and interpreter before spending over 20 years as a full-time academic. She has published about 100 research works, including four books. Her creative non-fiction includes a book, Split Lives: Croatian Australian Stories (2004); a chapter in Joyful Strains: Making Australia Home (2013) and a number of feature articles.

V.C. Peisker now lives in Tasmania. Francesca Multimortal is her first novel.

Photo of VC Peisker in the Tasmanian Wilderness.