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Make It Scream, Make It Burn by Leslie…

Make It Scream, Make It Burn (edition 2019)

by Leslie Jamison (Author)

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421418,861 (4.17)1
From the "astounding" (Entertainment Weekly), "spectacularly evocative" (The Atlantic), and "brilliant" (Los Angeles Times) author of the New York Times bestsellers 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 fourteen 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.… (more)
Title:Make It Scream, Make It Burn
Authors:Leslie Jamison (Author)
Info:Granta Books (2019), 272 pages
Collections:Your library, Esther, Non-fictie, Vrouw

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Make It Scream, Make It Burn: Essays by Leslie Jamison



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Make It Scream, Make It Burn is a collection of essays by Leslie Jamison, a journalist with The Atlantic, one of America’s oldest and most respected magazines. She arranged her essays from the outside in, so to speak. The first section of essays is most outside her realm of experience, the final section is autobiographical. Jamison is a chronicler of the odd and misfit, it many ways. I remember the first article by her I ever read, about people with an illness doctors do not believe exists. In that article and in these essays, she displays her extraordinary ability to connect with people, to create an empathetic link to them while recounting their story later.

Full disclosure, Jamison interviewed me for her piece on Second Life, included in this book. She did not use my interview but did include people I suggested as good people to interview for greater understanding of Second Life. My friends were shocked at how thorough the fact-checkers were, but were also very unhappy to see Second Life portrayed as an escape. It seemed as her own life was so happy, she could not see a value in a second. They felt misunderstood. Jamison addresses this, too, in her essay on a photographer who felt anger when Jamison wrote about her project.

Make It Scream, Make It Burn is a good collection of essays. Jamison is an essayist exploring life and culture. Journalists often write their stories as though they are no part of the story, as though the observer effect did not exist. But, physicists have shown how even quantum phenomena are changed by passive observation. Jamison, by writing herself into her essays drops the pretense that her words are not mediated by her own perceptions.

Take that Second Life story, it is affected by who she chose to interview and the questions she asks. She could have talked to designers who produced first and Second Life fashions, using SL to expand her ideas of what is possible in fashion, unhampered by gravity, for example. She could have talked to the people at the Sioux sim where tribal history is taught or church services or a transgender support group. Her own idea of SL, a refuge, influenced who she featured and the questions she asked…and by putting herself in the story, she does not pretend omniscience. This makes her essays more compelling.

I received an e-galley of Make It Scream, Make It Burn from the publisher through NetGalley

Make It Scream, Make It Burn at Little, Brown and Company
Leslie Jamison author site
https://tonstantweaderreviews.wordpress.com/2019/10/09/9780316259668/ ( )
  Tonstant.Weader | Oct 10, 2019 |
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