About No Permanent Scars:
Cleveland author and high school teacher Michael Hemery returns to his roots to illuminate an honest working-class existence in his book No Permanent Scars (292 pp., Silenced Press, $16), a collection of nonfiction stories that offers both the sober realities of class discrimination and the humor and love of family. Intertwined with serious issues such as suicide, alcoholism, abuse, religion, and immigration, Hemery also endures a painfully slow and often naive coming of age (for instance, in college, he once mistook an obvious prostitute for an office supply store employee). The essays are thematically grouped into six main categories, each of which is centered on a revelation that extends beyond the personal. Whether a reader is working class or not, a wide-range of readers will be able to appreciate and identify with the universal voice in the book as the author struggles to come to terms with both the past and the responsibilities of the future.
- Sue William Silverman, acclaimed author of Fearless Confessions: A Writer’s Guide to Memoir and Love Sick, says, “Michael Hemery’s No Permanent Scars employs exactly those qualities most lacking in contemporary writing – of whatever genre. Not only are these personal essays honest and emotionally available, they come out of a blue-collar background that we don’t expect to foster this kind of unguarded revelation. No Permanent Scars embodies a working-class empathy that popular culture seems unable to fathom. With urgent and compelling prose, Hemery explores a world that is too often hidden in plain sight, and does it fearlessly.”
- Philip Graham, author of The Moon, Come to Earth: Dispatches from Lisbon, says, “If you’ve ever considered naming your unborn child Magneto, thought your scraped knee was a period, been to a garlic-cleaning party, loved the song ‘Rock Me, Amadeus,’ or especially if you haven’t, then you must read Michael Hemery’s marvelous No Permanent Scars. Ranging from poignant to hilarious to heartbreaking, Hemery’s essays recount his child’s self growing in a zig zag pattern into adolescence and adulthood, triumphing over the ‘misfires of memory’ in his quest to solve the mysteries he first unearthed when he was young.”