cover image Honey Mine: Collected Stories

Honey Mine: Collected Stories

Camille Roy. Nightboat, $17.95 trade paper (328p) ISBN 978-1-64362-074-9

This inventive and substantial collection from poet and performance artist Roy (Sherwood Forest) demonstrates the author’s sharp wit and laser-eyed analysis of gender and class issues, punctuated by perspective on the realities of being a lesbian in the U.S. In “Isher House” the narrator explores a run-down historic house with her then-girlfriend and learns that neighborhood myths, like relationships, are sometimes built on fantasy. In “Lynette #1,” a crush becomes the gateway to a party world of exhilarating temptations and nested stories. Roy manipulates literary forms to suit her material, as in “Baby or Whose Body Is Missing,” originally written for a gallery performance and composed of a fractured outline describing an infant’s breast feeding along with snippets of narrative (“I was a bar dyke before all this gender-theory crap came along. I kissed and fucked like every other girl in my invisible world”). Throughout, she writes about articulating the truth of experience: “Writing a story is a little like dragging a tree out of a dark wood and then wrapping it with strings of starry lights.” Her best work mixes fact and fiction, as Roy constructs metafictional puzzles while ruminating on the past: “My histories have no accuracy to them, but they are crammed with facts.” Fans of experimental fiction should take note. (June)