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The Empathy Exams: Essays (2014)

by Leslie Jamison(Favorite Author)
3.72 of 5 Votes: 4
1555976719 (ISBN13: 9781555976712)
Graywolf Press
review 1: to be clear - this book only gets 2 stars from me b/c i was mistakenly under the impression that the entire book was about the author's experiences as a medical actor & what she learned from those roles. the first chapter was incredible, leaving me extremely disappointed to find out that the rest of the chapters were about entirely different experiences in which she explored empathy. a few of them were interesting enough & a few bored me because the subject matter just wasn't anything i cared for. jamison is a great writer & insightful person, this just wasn't the book i signed up for.
review 2: The title essay that starts off this collection is easily the best thing I've read in 2014. Jamison is a fresh young voice who is confessional without being cheesy, is
... more wise without being old (literally- this collection is her second book). Not every essay in the collection lives up to the grandeur of The Empathy Exams, but when she she hits it she really hits it, as she does with "Devil's Bait", an examination of Morgellon's that's both critical and sensitive; "In Defense of Saccharine," which does for sweet what Sontag did for kitsch; and the final essay, "Grand Unified Theory of Female Pain", can only be described as a tour de force. I don't want to delve too deep into details because sometimes the structure and the reveal of these essays are half the fun, but I do think that this is a must read. less
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Some of the essays here are excellent, but I found it to be an uneven collection overall.
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