Minnesota native Virginia Weiss calls her award-winning novel, The 53rd Card, a story about transcending stories. The tale evolved out of what she describes as a long-held frustration with “the exasperating human capacity to love a story about truth more than the truth itself.”
The novel centers on Emma Addison, an agoraphobic young woman who inadvertently summons the devil on Christmas Eve. Frantic to appease her unbidden guest, she surrenders a cherished stone carving of Kuan Yin — an unwitting concession for which the devil grants her an unusual power he refuses to take back. Bewilderment turns to resolve, and Emma embarks on a maverick quest to end earthly suffering. Encountering a host of divine beings along the way, she endures a baffling odyssey that will shatter her every notion of truth. But that may not be as bad as it sounds, for as the goddess Kuan Yin assures her, “Truth is what you’d realize if no one ever told you anything.”
Weiss hopes, paradoxically perhaps, that her story will engage readers and, in the process, deepen their awareness of that truest part of themselves into which all stories dissolve.
A debut novel, The 53rd Card was published by Beaver’s Pond Press. It won the 2018 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award for Sci Fi & Fantasy Fiction and is currently a Foreword INDIES and Midwest Book Awards finalist. Find it at Itasca Books (www.itascabooks.com/the-53rd-card.html), Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes.