Publisher: AK Press
Released: June 29, 2021
People who have been damaged, thrown away, marginalized, or traumatized are more capable of apprehending social patterns, precisely because they’ve needed to be aware and vigilant about how the world works. For too long, those who rely on long-held rights and entitlement have claimed that others are biased about the very topics on which they have expertise. Damaged Like Me is a series of essays and stories that reveal a complex social landscape. It shows how possible and vital it is to build roads to a more equitable and loving collective culture that includes body sovereignty, racial justice, gender equity/liberation, and much more. It does so by relying on the insights and approaches to knowledge production of those on the receiving end of inequity and violence, those whose “objectivity” on issues of oppression has been consistently maligned despite their having the most to teach us.
Praise for Damaged Like Me
"Storyteller Kimberly Dark presents fatness alongside womanhood, queerness, and more as arenas where damage operates as micro-level reflections of macro-level injustices."
—Mackenzie Edwards for Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society
"Kimberly's writing is intimate and haunting—she kicks you in the gut while holding your emotions in the palm of her hand."
—Jessamyn Stanley, author of Every Body Yoga & Yoke: My Yoga of Self-Acceptance
"Like a topo map that transcends our known meridians toward expansiveness and allows us to sit with the past to create a livable future, Kimberly Dark's Damaged Like Me invites us, from our 'stigmatized positions,' to step closer to our damage as sites of knowledge indispensable to our healing and our knowing.Through personal storytelling and intellectual inquiry, Dark generously restories these locations of damage as places of hope and regrowth, all while asking us to speak aloud how we come to love and let ourselves be loved. This book is an act of queer abundance.
—Cooper Lee Bombardier, author of Pass With Care: Memoirs
"There are few spaces outside of Disability Justice where the mess and mayhem of trauma is allowed to exist alongside abiding dignity. Damaged Like Me is one of them. Kimberly Dark has handed us a shame free template for telling all our shifting truths. A spell, in fact. We, the damaged, are emboldened to show up for ourselves and each other. We are given tools for blunting the stab of bias. We are re-routed from the deceptive road-map that has us hell-bent on triumph. Together we will be traitors to silence and we will survive this too. These are stories of the ways trauma shapes us and stays with us. Of the broken-into body and just how much language matters. They detail the inter-related thought systems that perpetuate child abuse, racism, fat bias, and misogyny."
—Dr. Lucy Aphramor, Dietitian, Founder of Well Now, co-author of Body Respect
“Kimberly Dark profoundly understands the power of storytelling to create change. Damaged Like Me begins with her body and reaches out toward new meaning-making in a burst of resilience and imagination. Each dazzling essay asks what we might learn from the tensions, contradictions, erasures and difficulties we have inhabited at the edges of culture, and how we may yet reinvent ourselves and new communities. These brilliant insights will illuminate new paths even through the troubled dark.”
—Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Chronology of Water
"In Damaged Like Me, Kimberly Dark weaves together philosophical thoughts, sociopolitical commentary, and personal narrative with writing so evocative that at times I felt I was Kimberly. Riveting, honest, and haunting truth-telling."
—Lindo Bacon, PhD, scientist and author of Radical Belonging
"Damaged Like Me is a sociology rooted in the self—in a queer body, a woman’s body, a fat body, a sexualized body, a body defined into or out of whiteness or motherhood or lovability. Bringing to mind the works of Tressie McMillan Cottom and José Muñoz, Kimberly Dark skillfully employs scene, moments of bodies touching bodies, poetry, yearning, and structural complexity to unveil her theses. This memoir is a love letter to outsiders, in a way, but the kind of love that offers both tenderness and accountability. A demand for the best self that can show up on any given day—because best selves create better worlds."
—Erin Kate Ryan, author of Quantum Girl Theory
"Kimberly Dark has forever transformed the way I understand sex, gender, and the notion of 'damage.' The patriarchy should be terrified of this book. The rest of us can stick it in our hearts—emboldenment for the revolution.”
—Ariel Gore, author of Hexing the Patriarchy
Kimberly Dark is a writer, professor, and raconteur. She has written award-winning plays, and taught and performed for a wide range of audiences in various countries over the past two decades. She is the author of Fat, Pretty, and Soon to Be Old, The Daddies, Love and Errors, and co-editor of the anthology Ways of Being in Teaching.