Based on real events surrounding a cult in rural Quebec, Hetherington's debut novel Mooncalves weaves a tale of present-day crime and a strange, dystopian future.
"The arrival of Hetherington’s unique narrative voice may announce the coming of a new genre. Call it Post Singularity Toronto Gothic, if you will. You may be tempted, if you are as impressed by this debut as this reviewer is, to see Hetherington as the millennial generation’s persuasive answer to Atwood."
- The Vancouver Sun
"Word started to spread in literary circles earlier this spring about a startling literary debut, a first novel called Mooncalves by Victoria Hetherington, published by a very small press in Vancouver. Such presses have no money for publicity, so the only way for a novel such as that to create some word of mouth is to be really, really good. Here is evidence, for the skeptical, that it sometimes does happen. Mooncalves is a stunning debut."
- The Globe and Mail
"With family resemblances to other Canadians, specifically the novels of Lynn Crosbie and the body-horror films of early David Cronenberg...Mooncalves forges its own path. A stylish puzzle of a story, Victoria Hetherington’s debut novel is prickly and demanding and a bit feral but both singular and absorbing."
- The Toronto Star
"From Netflix’s Wild Wild Country to a slew of books – including Claudia Dey’s Heartbreaker, Victoria Hetherington’s Mooncalves, and Emma Cline’s The Girls...explorations of cults are filling a particular, and dark, societal need."
- Quill and Quire
"A work of great thematic depth...[the central relationship] I completely loved and have had to restrain myself from writing paragraph after paragraph."
- The Puritan
"Mooncalves is capable of becoming The Handmaid’s Tale of our time not only because of how relevant it is to current discussions about climate change and patriarchy but also for some of the ways it goes further in its discussion of feminism... It is a book that is, in many ways, unlike anything that I have read before, and it is hard to imagine I will encounter anything quite like it again."
- The Town Crier
"Mooncalves is startling...A truly harrowing read that strips all of the glamor from the genre within which it operates."
- Broken Pencil Magazine
"Set against a backdrop of impending environmental catastrophe, Hetherington’s fresh and unconventional story is composed of deeply complex characters including cult devotees, time travellers, synthetic companions, and ghosts. Hetherington offers us a biting social critique in this stunning debut."
- Kathryn Mockler, author of Onion Man
" Hetherington is a beautiful writer. In the depraved and terrifying future she creates, her sentences dance nimbly, brightly across the page, like the palest of flowers left on decomposing bodies."
- Diana Wagman, author of Extraordinary October
" Anchored by survivalist women’s voices, this dystopic story catapults the Millennial perspective into the visionary position. In this cultish, futuristic landscape, I was reassured by this mysterious talent women have, to absorb ancestrally, survivalist tricks fit for any era.”
- Alisha Piercy, author of Bunny and Shark
"Hetherington holds nothing back, whether it’s sexual, violent, or emotionally toxic.You will have trouble putting Mooncalves down, because as protagonist Erica says, “transgression can be unbearably sexy.”
- Myna Wallin, author of Confessions of a Reluctant Cougar
"A ganglion of masterfully structured insights and anxieties reminiscent of Jean Rhys and Renata Adler. Mooncalves speaks closer than most to our contemporary moment."
- Michael Turner, author of Hard Core Logo
I am the author of three books: two critically acclaimed novels MOONCALVES (Now or Never, 2019), AUTONOMY (Dundurn, 2022), and INTO THE MIST: FINDING CF-JDO (Kestrel Publications, 2022), an account of a Canadian aviation tragedy. Described as "lovely, liquid and accomplished" by the LA Review of Books, my digital fiction project I HAVE TO TELL YOU was published in 2014 with 0s&1s. You can find my books on Goodreads, if you'd like.
I am a member of the Writers Union of Canada. I am a two-time recipient of the Ontario Arts Council Writer's Works in Progress Grant, The Writers' Trust Woodcock Grant, and the Ontario Arts Council Writers' Reserve. My writing has appeared in Hazlitt, Taddle Creek, EVENT, Joyland, This Magazine, The Puritan, The Trinity Review, The Toronto Quarterly, The Waterhouse Review, This Recording and The Hart House Review. I have served as a fiction editor and curator at Broken Pencil Magazine and facilitate writing seminars in the AWA method, most recently for the Toronto Writers Collective. I have served on literary jury panels for organizations including the Ontario Arts Council and the Writers Union of Canada.
My debut novel, Mooncalves, was published in 2019 to wide acclaim. Media outlets such as The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and the Vancouver Sun turned in positive reviews; the Globe and Mail called the book "A stunning debut," and the Vancouver Sun stated that, "If you are as impressed as this reviewer, [Mooncalves] is this generation's answer to Atwood. "The arrival of Hetherington’s unique narrative voice may announce the coming of a new genre." According to the Toronto Star, the book is " prickly and demanding, a bit feral; singular and absorbing." ( Toronto Star) and named alongside Netflix's Wild Wild Country and Claudia Dey's Heatbreakers as a timely cult narrative "filling a particular, and dark, societal need" (Quill and Quire). Read more reviews here.
You can watch me talk about the book with The Walrus and The Author's Book Club. The book was shortlisted for the 2020 Amazon Canada First Novel Award.
My second novel, AUTONOMY, was published Spring 2022 with Rare Machines/Dundurn Press. Described by Giller-winning author Michael Redhill as "a beautifully written and profoundly enthralling novel that made me wonder if Joan Didion had started writing literary fiction," the book was called "a remarkable work of fiction" in the Vancouver Sun; Liz Harmer, author of The Amateurs, said "Hetherington's vision is bleak, but their glittering prose gives even the most monstrous realities of late-capitalism an unsettling glimmer."
Noted critic Steven J. Beattie wrote that book is "a philosophical rumination on the nature of human agency in the guise of a dystopian narrative about technology and a global pandemic." From the Toronto Star: "Over punchy, effortless chapters Hetherington spins a delectably serpentine tale." The book has received additional praise in Quill and Quire, the Literary Review of Canada, and other venues.
Brought to life by voice actor Sierra Kline and OrangeSky Productions, Autonomy is available as an Audiobook on Audible.
I speak about Autonomy on CBC's The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers.
INTO THE MIST: FINDING CF-JDO
Equal parts tragedy and enduring, generational love, Into The Mist tells the true story of a Saskatchewan aviation mystery six decades in the making.
Watch me discuss the research process for the book with Jeff Rodstad for CTV Sakatoon.
Listen to me speak with John Gormley about the story, the writing process and Raymond Gran's service in World War II.
With Canadian aviation expert Dorrin Wallace, I discuss the book for CBC Regina.
Learn about the Into The Mist book launch in August 2022, which featured a panel of experts including historian, author and University of Saskatoon professor Bill Waiser OC and journalist and head of the Canadian Aviation Society Will Chabun.
The hardcover edition is now available with Kestrel Publications.
As a panelist, interviewer and instructor, I have spoken at universities, libraries and festivals and conferences including Word on the Street Toronto, Fan Expo Canada, the International Festival of Authors in Toronto, Calgary Wordfest, and the Ontario Library Association. Please get in touch via the contact form below for speaking rates. I also provide one-on-one manuscript consultation services; if you are seeking to workshop short fiction, nonfiction or a novel-length manuscript, do get in touch.
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