We've got another special Book Birthday this week: THE EMPATHY EXAMS by Leslie Jamison, a riveting collection of essays from the winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize, an April Indie Next Pick and a Publishers Weekly Top 10 Essay Collection and Most Anticipated Book of Spring 2014!
Beginning with her experience as a medical actor who was paid to act out symptoms for medical students to diagnose, Jamison’s visceral and revealing essays ask essential questions about our basic understanding of others. By confronting pain—real and imagined, her own and others’—Jamison uncovers a personal and cultural urgency to feel.
“A heady and unsparing examination of pain and how it allows us to understand others, and ourselves.... Jamison is ever-probing and always sensitive. Reporting is never the point; instead, her observations of people, reality TV, music, film, and literature serve as a starting point for unconventional metaphysical inquiries into poverty, tourism, prison time, random acts of violence, abortion, HBO’s Girls, bad romance, and stereotypes of the damaged woman artist.”
— Publishers Weekly, starred and boxed review
“Gutsy essays.... A tough, intrepid, scouring observer and vigilant thinker, [Jamison] generates startling and sparking extrapolations and analysis. On the prowl for truth and intimate with pain, Jamison carries forward the fierce and empathic essayistic tradition as practiced by writers she names as mentors, most resonantly James Agee and Joan Didion.” — Booklist, starred review
“Jamison writes with such originality and humor, and delivers such scalpel-sharp insights, that it's more like a rush of pleasure.” — Entertainment Weekly
THE EMPATHY EXAMS is available now from Graywolf Press.