Lava in my Bones, The

Lava in my Bones, The


The Lave in my Bones by Barry Webster

first published in 2012, Paperback

Lambda Literary Award and Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction Finalist

A frustrated Canadian geologist studying global warming becomes obsessed with eating rocks after embarking on his first same-sex relationship in Europe. Back home, his young sister is a high-school girl who suddenly starts to ooze honey through her pores, an affliction that attracts hordes of bees as well as her male classmates but ultimately turns her into a social pariah. Meanwhile, their obsessive Pentecostal mother repeatedly calls on the Holy Spirit to rid her family of demons. The siblings are reunited on a ship bound for Europe where they hope to start a new life, but are unaware that their disguised mother is also on board and plotting to win back their souls, with the help of the Virgin Mary. 

Told in a lush baroque prose, this intense, extravagant magic-realist novel combines elements of fairy tales, horror movies, and romances to create a comic, hallucinatory celebration of excess and sensuality. 

From The Lava in My Bones

When I reached the open field near my parents' house, I stood panting on the empty plain. The wind struck me square in the face, whipped the bangs off my forehead, fluttered my eyelashes and dried the spittle on my lips. I looked down at my body: this body I lived in, this body I carted about wherever I went. These carbuncled fingers, these bulging thighs, this chest rising and falling like the swell of the sea were mine―were me. 

It was then that I knew: air will free me. The wind I once feared will lift me high above the earth-bound people of Cartwright. Wind is what happens when air falls in love with itself. I'll love the sweetness of my sweat and it will dissolve rocks hurled like missiles at my head. I spread my arms wide to the howling gale that shot into my open pores and roared through my body like Niagara, as a shower of glistening honey drops fell like manna onto the parched, stony earth.