No Permanent Scars

A nonfiction short story collection


Michael Hemery earned his MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and served as the nonfiction editor for Hunger Mountain. More information available at

Michael Hemery

From the publisher, Silenced Press:

No Permanent Scars reads how creative nonfiction should read: Like fiction. Like nonfiction. Like memoir. Like humor. Like literature. Like life. It’s about childhood, adulthood, the neighborhood and what it means to be a kid, a parent, a teacher, a human. Michael Hemery illuminates an honest working-class existence, offering 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 (he once mistook an obvious prostitute for an office supply store employee). This is going to be the best book you’ll read this year.

"The funny, thought-provoking and sometimes painful short essays in Michael Hemery’s book are individual gems; together they comprise a poignant and comic portrait of a boy becoming a man, finding his way within family and community and grappling with sexuality, spirituality, and love – not to mention a considerable video game addiction. This collection soars."
-Laurie Alberts, author of Fault Line

“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.”

-Sue William Silverman, author of

Fearless Confessions: A Writer’s Guide to Memoir

"What an exciting new writer Mike Hemery is! His prose is sharp and funny, yet his vision is compassionate and deeply penetrates to the core of who we are: flawed and fabulous human beings. This is a book to carry around with you, and read and reread not just at the beach or the bedroom—but everywhere."

-Samrat Upadhyay, author of Buddha's Orphans.

“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.”

-Philip Graham, author of The Moon, Come to Earth: Dispatches from Lisbon


Available for purchase from:


Contact Michael at for reading or lectures.


Reader Reviews: Amazon
                              Library Thing

RANKED #4 on Amazon’s ”Hot New Releases in American Literature Collections” List!

Media Mentions and Reviews: HERE