Exclusive Cover Reveal: Minda Honey’s “The Heartbreak Years”

From steamy hookups to narrow escapes, Minda Honey navigates the romantic comedies and tragedies of youth

Yellow and white text reading "The Heartbreak Years" layered over a collage of glittery, neon, and purple paper.

Electric Literature is pleased to reveal the cover for Minda Honey’s highly anticipated debut memoir, The Heartbreak Years, which will be published by Little A this October. 

In the car she’d had since high school, and with her boyfriend by her side, Minda Honey journeyed cross-country to Southern California. By the end of that year, Obama would be president, she’d be single, and everything would change. 

Thousands of miles away from family and friends, Minda must navigate online dating and new relationships, and the challenges of early adulthood. From steamy hookups to narrow escapes, frustratingly adorable meet-cutes, and confusing relationships, Minda navigates the all-too relatable realization that nothing ever plays out quite like the romantic comedies of our youth. Traversing California, Colorado, and eventually returning home to Kentucky, Minda sets out to redefine what matters most in her life, purely on her own terms. 

In her fearless, unflinching, beautifully rendered debut, Minda examines her past relationships with an eye well-tuned to the nuances of consent, gender, sexuality, and race. Reflecting on the promise—and disappointments—of her twenties, this memoir is Minda’s story of a Black woman choosing herself, embracing independence, and having a little fun along the way.

Introducing The Heartbreak Years, cover designed by Emily Mahon and Tree Abraham.

Tree Abraham, senior art director at Amazon Publishing said, “We wanted a cover to embody an early-2000s LA style without being hackneyed or generic. We asked for some of the author’s creative inspirations and one of the artists she shared was Mickalene Thomas, whose collaged elements admixing glitter, neon, and textural layers felt aligned with the atmosphere of the social scenes Honey writes about. I shared a mood board with the designer Emily Mahon and she came back with a stunning array of options that married that feeling of watching a summer sunset with a wall of torn-up concert posters found plastered in a nightclub.”

Honey relished the opportunity to take an active role in coming up with the concept of the cover. “Twentysomething Minda loved big gaudy Betsey Johnson jewelry and preposterously high Jessica Simpson heels and I had—I kid you not—hot pink, tangerine and lime green bedding. My life during those early adulthood years was a mishmash of so many things at once. I was partying. A lot. I was dating. A lot. And I was trying to keep my rent paid working whatever halfway decent jobs I could find in the wake of the Great Recession.”

“So, this book cover, with its collage-y pieced together strips of bold colors, glitter and palm trees is the perfect visual translation of that time. I made one minor suggestion—the addition of the road map of Louisville on the far left. I wanted this cover to represent, in some small but important way, who I was and where I was from when I arrived in Southern California. Driving is also a major motif in my memoir. Road tripping. Driving away. Driving into my future. Driving as escape. This cover is the bat signal letting my readers know I wrote this book for them—all the twentysomething Mindas out there and the thirtysomething Mindas wondering what those Obama Years, those Drunk on the Dance Floor Years, those Heartbreak Years mean for us now.”

The Heartbreak Years will be published by Little A on October 1st, 2023, and is available for pre-order here.

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