One of the most prominent voices of her generation debuts with an extraordinarily powerful memoir: the story of a childhood defined by the looming absence of her incarcerated father.
Through poverty, adolescence, and a fraught relationship with...Read More
Through poverty, adolescence, and a fraught relationship with her mother, Ashley C. Ford wishes she could turn to her father for hope and encouragement. There are just a few problems: he's in prison, and she doesn't know what he did to end up there. She doesn't know how to deal with the incessant worries that keep her up at night, or how to handle the changes in her body that draw unwanted attention from men. In her search for unconditional love, Ashley begins dating a boy her mother hates. When the relationship turns sour, he assaults her. Still reeling from the rape, which she keeps secret from her family, Ashley desperately searches for meaning in the chaos. Then, her grandmother reveals the truth about her father's incarceration . . . and Ashley's entire world is turned upside down.
Somebody's Daughter steps into the world of growing up a poor Black girl in Indiana with a family fragmented by incarceration, exploring how isolating and complex such a childhood can be. As Ashley battles her body and her environment, she embarks on a powerful journey to find the threads between who she is and what she was born into, and the complicated familial love that often binds them.
Ashley C. Ford is a writer, host, and educator who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana with her husband, poet and fiction writer Kelly Stacy, and their chocolate lab Astro Renegade Ford-Stacy. Ford is the former host of The Chronicles of Now podcast, co-host of The HBO companion podcast Lovecraft Country Radio, seasons one & three of MasterCard's Fortune Favors The Bold, as well as the video interview series PROFILE by BuzzFeed News, and Brooklyn-based news & culture TV show, 112BK.
She was also the host of the first season of Audible's literary interview series, Authorized. She has been named among Forbes Magazine's 30 Under 30 in Media (2017), Brooklyn Magazine's Brooklyn 100 (2016), Time Out New York's New Yorkers of The Year (2017), and Variety's New Power of New York (2019).
"Somebody's Daughter is the heart-wrenching yet equally witty and wondrous story of how Ford came through the fire and emerged triumphant, as her own unapologetic, Black-girl self." - The New York Times
"Somebody's Daughter will leave readers gasping for air." - Natachi Onwuamaegbu, The Boston Globe
"Armed with the insight and lessons from her youth, the author emerged as a bright young college student who learned to love herself for who she was and who she has yet to become." - The New York Journal Review of Books
"With a lucidity that is almost a superpower, [Ford] transports us into her singular experience of growing up poor and Black and female in Fort Wayne, Ind." - People
"A thoughtful debut. Ford writes with a flush and sophisticated pen. But the heartbeat of Ford's firstborn is her ability to pinpoint critical moments on her self-discovering journey, and, like Baldwin and Abdurraqib, find respectable ways to perform and not drown in her suffering." - USA Today
"Rather than reduce these painful memories to a reflective interpretation, Ford lifts the language into a shimmering lyric register that is polyphonic... Her understanding that the ones we love are imperfect crafts a shining star for the reader to follow." - San Francisco Chronicle
"This remarkable, heart-wrenching story of loss, hardship, and self-acceptance astounds." - Publishers Weekly
"This is a memoir about love, live, and freedom. It's not just good - it's beautiful." - Brené Brown
"A memoir so clear, sharp, and smooth that the reader sees, in vivid focus, Ashley C. Ford's complicated childhood, brilliant mind, and golden heart. The gravity and urgency of Somebody's Daughter anchored me to my chair and slowed my heartbeat. Ashley C. Ford is a writer for the ages, and Somebody's Daughter will be a book of the year." - Glennon Doyle, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Untamed
"Layering in the complexities of her relationship with her mother, her changing body and a boyfriend who grows abusive, Ford offers a heart-wrenching coming-of-age story." - Time
"In this beautiful, delicate memoir, writer Ashley C. Ford recounts a childhood defined by her incarcerated father's absence...and she starts a journey toward true and powerful selfhood." - Elle