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Leslie Jamison

Author of The Empathy Exams: Essays

13+ Works 2,123 Members 73 Reviews 2 Favorited

About the Author

Leslie Jamison was born in Washington D.C. in 1983. She has worked as a baker, an office temp, an innkeeper, a tutor, and a medical actor. She is the author of The Gin Closet and The Empathy Exams: Essays. She is currently finishing a doctoral dissertation at Yale University about addiction show more narratives. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
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Works by Leslie Jamison

Associated Works

What My Mother and I Don't Talk About: Fifteen Writers Break the Silence (2019) — Contributor — 259 copies, 6 reviews
The Best American Essays 2014 (2014) — Contributor — 168 copies, 2 reviews
The Best American Essays 2018 (The Best American Series ®) (2018) — Contributor — 117 copies, 1 review
The Best American Essays 2020 (2020) — Contributor — 96 copies, 2 reviews
Burn It Down: Women Writing about Anger (2019) — Contributor — 81 copies, 5 reviews
Letter to a Stranger: Essays to the Ones Who Haunt Us (2021) — Foreword; Contributor — 63 copies, 3 reviews
The Best American Magazine Writing 2019 (2019) — Contributor — 11 copies


Common Knowledge



3.5 stars for Jamison’s memoir of her bitter divorce within a year after her first baby arrives, followed by coparenting, dating and COVID with a youngster. In fact, much about babies. Absorbing vignettes and although she dives deeply into introspection and self-analysis, I came away with no real ah ha moment as to her growth. She’ll continue to overthink her conversations and relationships, but her observations and writing skills are crackerjack.
featherbooks | May 7, 2024 |
Didn't capture me, so I returned it. At this moment in time, I have pretty much no interest in reading journalistic essays from the perspective of a privileged intellectual immersing herself in places where she's an outsider and examining the experience of doing so. I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with this exercise, I just feel as if I've read (and experienced) this narrative too many times to learn much from it. I'd rather hear from different voices.
raschneid | 37 other reviews | Dec 19, 2023 |
The first story in the collection was STRONG. And I mean really strong. I expected each following essay would be equally as profound, however as the book progressed I found myself bored and frustrated. While it is evident that Jamison is an excellent writer, I often felt like her narcissism plagued each scenario at hand.
cbwalsh | 37 other reviews | Sep 13, 2023 |
Two smart readers recommended this title, so I expected to love it. Not so much. The title essay = absolutely the price of the book, or in my case, the time to check it out of the library. A couple of the other essays came close to the elegance and insight of the title piece. Mostly, I struggled with the sense that I should be impressed. Good writing is difficult to produce but effortless to read. The hard work of this intelligent writer flagged page after page to the point of distraction -- the writerly work rather than the content stole the spotlight.

… (more)
rebwaring | 37 other reviews | Aug 14, 2023 |



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