The Playing Card by Michael Hetherington

Passfield Press is pleased to announce the forthcoming publication of
The Playing Card by Michael Hetherington

September 4, 2013. For immediate release. Vancouver. Do not look at the playing card in the back of this book. That’s what the reader is told. Could you resist looking?

The Playing Card is about curiosity and the pursuit of knowledge, and it’s playful. It’s a suspenseful experimental novel, a metaphysical mystery – we’re in “our” world, but it’s not ordinary.

A deck of playing cards is discovered, each card inscribed with a fragment of a story. S has kept a playing card face down for 26 years without looking at it.

S studies daily in the threatened Dunsmuir House Library in Vancouver while the one-eyed Dean Truman sells a one-volume encyclopaedia door to door. Deborah possesses an obsidian mirror with mysterious powers. And on the Caribbean island of St Lucia another card lies guarded face down in the mud, preparing for an exotic patenting ceremony.

The structure of the book is disordered – there are several different story lines, being slight variations of each other and of the characters involved. The book includes two joker chapters and an “Inface” (cf. Preface), which is set “in” after the first three chapters.

About the author: Michael Hetherington has bachelors degrees from Queen’s University and the University of British Columbia and a masters degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics.

Turnstone Press published his collection of short stories, The Late Night Caller, in 2003. Many of the stories in the collection have been published in literary magazines, including Matrix, Blood & Aphorisms, ON SPEC, and The Malahat Review.

He has appeared in many events, including on the radio and at LitFest NewWest in April 2013, promoting his books. The prologue to his collection of fragments of fiction, The Archive Carpet (October 2012, Passfield Press), was published in Geist magazine and other excerpts from the book appeared in The New Quarterly, Lichen, and Exile. Both The Late Night Caller and The Archive Carpet were well-received critically.

He is the father of a teenage son and daughter and lives in North Vancouver. To learn more about Michael Hetherington, visit

And remember, do not look at the card in the back of the book!

The Playing Card by Michael Hetherington
Publication date: October 15, 2013

Print ISBN: 978-0-9879618-5-3 (10: 0-9879618-5-3); Fiction; 240 pp; $19.95 Can/US (e-book: $12.95); 5.125 x 8.8; Editing: Susan Walker; Printing: Friesens; Ordering information at

Media, for more information, contact: Karen Green, Rebus Creative, 604.684.8294, ext. 24,

Feel free to share!Email this to someoneShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Comments are closed