I Have to Tell You
by Victoria Hetherington
A 0s&1s Original
Cover art: Untitled by Cyril Lagel
~69,000 words

Read reviews on Goodreads

Every friendship acts as some sort of social contagion—passing both the highs and lows of human behavior.

Sherene abuses drugs, friends, lovers and herself. Grace is overwhelmingly shy, and trapped by her own set of habits. During fourteen months of their early-mid twenties, we voyeuristically explore their relationship with each other and those they need the most. 

We're granted complete transparency, through diary entries, emails and Google searches. The result is a torrid, honest look at the intense desire for human connection, the pressures of building an identity and what's left when we're finally alone.

Funded by the Ontario Arts Council, I Have To Tell You is a full-length digital fiction project. Hetherington's debut novel Mooncalves is forthcoming Spring 2019. She lives in Toronto.

Read (and hear) an excerpt at The Puritan.

"I just read a very good and unusual novel, I Have to Tell You by Victoria Hetherington. It’s the friendship of two young women — hungry for life and meaning, trying to make sense of who they are when they’re alone and who they are with other people, and making all kinds of mistakes — told through a medley of voices, their own and those of people they know, as well as emails, Google searches, and journal entries. The story unfolds like pleats on a fan being opened very slowly, the author revealing crucial moments from unexpected angles and points of view. The book is lovely, slow, and liquid, an accomplished debut." — Diana Wagman in Los Angeles Review of Books

"Graceful and poignant, often redolent of Annie Dillard’s sparing prose rising to beautiful abstractions, open to the everyday’s influence on personal narratives...If there ever is a 'Great American Novel' (a probably stupid concept) this is how it should look—but of course it’s Canadian." Joe Hogle in HTML Giant

"Hetherington’s novel throws a glaring spotlight on the discomfort and insecurity of entering adulthood, of waking up one morning and realizing you’re already there….a book that kept me reading and that will hit a nerve with readers navigating the platonic and romantic complexities of adulthood." — Brenna Dixon in Ploughshares Blog.

"What if more people screamed what they needed? What if they let go of roles? What if they burned structure and ran?…I Have To Tell You jars the reader into acknowledging these interpersonal influences." — Tracy Dimond in Nailed Magazine's review

"In I Have To Tell You, we come to know characters exactly when they do not know we are knowing them—in the night, strings of time-stamped internet search histories reveal a young woman here terrified of her addictions, a middle-aged woman there terrified of what she thinks her body is, a confused man here simply trying to move on." — Carolyn Zaikowski, author of A Child Is Being Killed in Monkey Puzzle

"...[an] examination of the struggle between individuality and the need for connection. Relationships, dreams, trying to come to terms with demons of the past and fears over those yet to come. It’s deft at the way it weaves in and out of characters, moving in and out of character minds…" — David Atkinson in InDigest's review