From the "astounding" (Entertainment Weekly), "spectacularly evocative" (The Atlantic), and "brilliant" (Los Angeles Times) author of the New York Times best sellers The Recovering and The Empathy Exams comes a return to the essay form in this expansive new book. With the virtuosic synthesis of memoir, criticism, and journalism for which she has become known, Leslie Jamison offers us 14 new essays that are by turns ecstatic, searching, staggering, and wise. In its kaleidoscopic sweep, Make It Scream, Make It Burn creates a profound exploration of the oceanic depths of longing and the reverberations of obsession. Among Jamison's subjects are 52 Blue, deemed "the loneliest whale in the world"; the eerie past-life memories of children; the devoted citizens of an online world called Second Life; the haunted landscape of the Sri Lankan Civil War; and an entire museum dedicated to the relics of broken relationships. Jamison follows these examinations to more personal reckonings - with elusive men and ruptured romances, with marriage and maternity - in essays about eloping in Las Vegas, becoming a stepmother, and giving birth. Often compared to Joan Didion and Susan Sontag, and widely considered one of the defining voices of her generation, Jamison interrogates her own life with the same nuance and rigor she brings to her subjects. Indeed, this refusal to hide - this emotional and intellectual frankness - is precisely the quality that makes her questing and irrepressible voice impossible to resist. PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.
©2019 Leslie Jamison (P)2019 Hachette Audio
"An honest and important book... Vivid writing and required reading." (Stephen King) "A Tolstoyan study of the human condition." (Andrew Solomon) One of the Most Anticipated Books of 2018: Esquire, Entertainment Weekly, Vogue, Elle, Newsday, The Millions, Huffington Post, Nylon, Bustle, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Bitch, The Rumpus, Buzzfeed, Boston Globe, The Week From the New York Times best-selling author of The Empathy Exams, a transformative work showing that sometimes the recovery is more gripping than the addiction With its deeply personal and seamless blend of memoir, cultural history, literary criticism, and reportage, The Recovering turns our understanding of the traditional addiction narrative on its head, demonstrating that the story of recovery can be every bit as electrifying as the train wreck itself. Leslie Jamison deftly excavates the stories we tell about addiction - both her own and others' - and examines what we want these stories to do and what happens when they fail us. All the while, she offers a fascinating look at the larger history of the recovery movement and at the complicated bearing that race and class have on our understanding of who is criminal and who is ill. At the heart of the book is Jamison's ongoing conversation with literary and artistic geniuses whose lives and works were shaped by alcoholism and substance dependence, including John Berryman, Jean Rhys, Billie Holiday, Raymond Carver, Denis Johnson, and David Foster Wallace as well as brilliant lesser-known figures such as George Cain, lost to obscurity but newly illuminated here. Through its unvarnished relation of Jamison's own ordeals, The Recovering also becomes a book about a different kind of dependency: the way our desires can make us all, as she puts it, "broken spigots of need". It's about the particular loneliness of the human experience - the craving for love that both devours us and shapes who we are. For her striking language and piercing observations, Jamison has been compared to such iconic writers as Joan Didion and Susan Sontag, yet her utterly singular voice also offers something new. With enormous empathy and wisdom, Jamison has given us nothing less than the story of addiction and recovery in America writ large, a definitive and revelatory account that will resonate for years to come.
©2018 Leslie Jamison (P)2018 Hachette Audio
From personal loss to phantom diseases, The Empathy Exams is a bold and brilliant collection, winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize A Publishers Weekly Top Ten Essay Collection of Spring 2014 Beginning with her experience as a medical actor who was paid to act out symptoms for medical students to diagnose, Leslie Jamison's visceral and revealing essays ask essential questions about our basic understanding of others: How should we care about each other? How can we feel another's pain, especially when pain can be assumed, distorted, or performed? Is empathy a tool by which to test or even grade each other? By confronting pain - real and imagined, her own and others' - Jamison uncovers a personal and cultural urgency to feel. She draws from her own experiences of illness and bodily injury to engage in an exploration that extends far beyond her life, spanning wide-ranging territory - from poverty tourism to phantom diseases, street violence to reality television, illness to incarceration - in its search for a kind of sight shaped by humility and grace.
©2014 Leslie Jamison (P)2015 Audible Inc.
At a remote military base in the Pacific Northwest, Navy sonar technicians hear a confounding sound. It is the voice of a whale, but one that sings at a frequency - 52 hertz - never before heard by scientists, and inaudible to other members of its species. The whale seems to be alone in the Pacific Ocean, unable to communicate with its kind. Three thousand miles away, in an apartment in Harlem, a sudden illness plunges a 48-year-old woman named Leonora into a coma. She wakes up in a hospital room, barely able to speak, adrift in the world. Wandering the Internet late one night she discovers the saga of the whale - and finds her life transformed by the power of its story. In 52 Blue, Leslie Jamison, best-selling author of The Empathy Exams, weaves together these stories in a boldly original exploration of scientific discovery refracted through the lens of human longing. Venturing into the community of people gathering in a mysterious animals wake - a brilliant marine biologist, a lovelorn photographer covered in whale tattoos, an obsessed filmmaker, and finally Leonora - Jamison comes away with an absorbing meditation on what it means to be alone, and how we seek meaning from the natural world.
©2014 Leslie Jamison, The Atavist (P)2014 Leslie Jamison, The Atavist