Pub. Date:
Dear Damage

Dear Damage

by Ashley Marie Farmer


Available for Pre-Order. This item will be available on March 15, 2022


Two weeks before her grandfather purchased a gun, Ashley Marie Farmer’s grandmother tripped as she walked across their living room. It was a swift accident on an ordinary day: her chin hit the floor; her cervical spine shattered. She asked, “I’m paralyzed, aren’t I?” Later, thinking to put her out of her misery, he kissed his sleeping wife of sixty-three years and shot her in the chest. He tried to shoot himself too, but the weapon broke apart in his hands. He was immediately arrested. This is the scene we are greeted with at the outset of Farmer’s stunning collection of hybrid essays. One of its greatest features is the variety of voices, a kaleidoscopic approach that corrals in autobiography, audio transcripts, media, legal documents, internet comments, short prose pieces, and more. The result is a moving, deeply satisfying, and eye-opening story. Ashley Marie Farmer is a profound writer who is clearly here to stay, her voice a true gift to our times.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781946448903
Publisher: Sarabande Books
Publication date: 03/15/2022
Series: Series in Kentucky Literature
Pages: 200
Sales rank: 842,266
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

Ashley Marie Farmer is the author of a chapbook and three books, most recently the poetry collection The Women (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2016). Her essays, poems, and stories can be found in places like Gay Magazine, TriQuarterly, The Progressive, Flaunt, Nerve, Gigantic, Buzzfeed, DIAGRAM, and elsewhere. Ashley has received a 2019 Best American Essays Notable Essay distinction, Ninth Letter's 2018 Literary Award in Creative Nonfiction, the Los Angeles Review's 2017 Short Fiction Award, and fellowships from Syracuse University and the Baltic Writing Residency.

Table of Contents



Mercy 7

Jobs Peak, 1985 14

Audio Transcript (Recorded January 2, 2014) 16

Aftermath 19

Lucy, 1975 28

Internet Comments, 2014-2015 29

Transcript: Celebrities 32

Contradiction, 2014 36


American Dream Job 38

Nevada / St. Tropez, 1987 48

Slow Circles 49

Graceland, 1994 60

When the Gun Comes 62

Transcript: Hitchhikers 68

Animal Hours 72

Transcript: Shipyard 81


Body Composition 84

Transcript: Vinyl 94

Minivan, 1994 95

Transcript: Beaches 96

Bill, 1925-2016 98

Seeing the Dead Alive 99

Transcript: Games 108


Transcript: Matrimony 111

The Book I Would’ve Written With No Trouble In It 118

Piano Hour, 1995 116

End of the Line 117

Green Girls 126

Transcript: Riptides 128

If 130


Second Person 133

Titles of Essays I Didn’t Write 142

Things You Don’t Have to Be Taught, 1982 143

Transcript: Hazards 144

No One is Waiting 146


Letter to the Public Defender 153

Motion to Dismiss 155

Acknowledgements 172

Publication Credits 173

Biographical Note 174

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