Hot Best Seller

Make it Scream, Make it Burn

Availability: Ready to download

A new collection of essays about obsession and longing from Leslie Jamison, the New York Times bestselling author of The Recovering and The Empathy Exams. A combination of memoir, criticism, and journalism, Make It Scream, Make It Burn is Leslie Jamison's profound exploration of the oceanic depths of longing and the reverberations of obsession. Among Jamison's subjects are 52 Blue, deemed "th A new collection of essays about obsession and longing from Leslie Jamison, the New York Times bestselling author of The Recovering and The Empathy Exams. A combination of memoir, criticism, and journalism, Make It Scream, Make It Burn is Leslie Jamison's 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 specter of reincarnated children; devotees of an online existence called Second Life, to the exclusion of their real lives; Civil War photography; and an entire museum dedicated to relationship breakups. Through these essays and through forays into her own obsessions and longings, Jamison delves into the nature of storytelling itself. We wonder alongside her whether it is ever really possible to hear someone else's story without somehow making it our own, without seeing it through the cracked windows of our private selves. Throughout these essays, Jamison, who has frequently been compared to Joan Didion and Susan Sontag, shines the spotlight every bit as uncomfortably on herself as she does on others. Unlike the standard journalistic practice, Jamison acknowledges her emotional investment in her subjects, always with utmost clarity and unwavering empathy. In her view, true art cannot be made any other way. Indeed, this refusal to hide—this emotional frankness—is precisely the quality that makes Jamison's questing and irrepressible voice impossible not to fall in love with.


Compare

A new collection of essays about obsession and longing from Leslie Jamison, the New York Times bestselling author of The Recovering and The Empathy Exams. A combination of memoir, criticism, and journalism, Make It Scream, Make It Burn is Leslie Jamison's profound exploration of the oceanic depths of longing and the reverberations of obsession. Among Jamison's subjects are 52 Blue, deemed "th A new collection of essays about obsession and longing from Leslie Jamison, the New York Times bestselling author of The Recovering and The Empathy Exams. A combination of memoir, criticism, and journalism, Make It Scream, Make It Burn is Leslie Jamison's 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 specter of reincarnated children; devotees of an online existence called Second Life, to the exclusion of their real lives; Civil War photography; and an entire museum dedicated to relationship breakups. Through these essays and through forays into her own obsessions and longings, Jamison delves into the nature of storytelling itself. We wonder alongside her whether it is ever really possible to hear someone else's story without somehow making it our own, without seeing it through the cracked windows of our private selves. Throughout these essays, Jamison, who has frequently been compared to Joan Didion and Susan Sontag, shines the spotlight every bit as uncomfortably on herself as she does on others. Unlike the standard journalistic practice, Jamison acknowledges her emotional investment in her subjects, always with utmost clarity and unwavering empathy. In her view, true art cannot be made any other way. Indeed, this refusal to hide—this emotional frankness—is precisely the quality that makes Jamison's questing and irrepressible voice impossible not to fall in love with.

30 review for Make it Scream, Make it Burn

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Incisive and candid, Make It Scream, Make It Burn is Jamison’s strongest work yet. Moving from the external to the internal, the three-part essay collection is thematically structured: the first regards the loneliness and longing of others; the second examines the bond between artists and their subjects, focusing on what it means to represent and engage with suffering; the third explores Jamison’s personal struggles with addiction, romance, pregnancy, and (step)motherhood. Whether the writer’s analy Incisive and candid, Make It Scream, Make It Burn is Jamison’s strongest work yet. Moving from the external to the internal, the three-part essay collection is thematically structured: the first regards the loneliness and longing of others; the second examines the bond between artists and their subjects, focusing on what it means to represent and engage with suffering; the third explores Jamison’s personal struggles with addiction, romance, pregnancy, and (step)motherhood. Whether the writer’s analyzing the troubling social dynamics underlying Second Life or closely reading James Agee’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, she’s lucid, and the personal essays in the third section are especially moving.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    I loved Leslie Jamison’s collection The Empathy Exams in 2014 but have struggled to connect with her work since then, including this book. For the first two sections of this essay collection, I felt like, in each essay, Jamison took a very long, drawn-out time to make one pretty solid point. For example, in her essay “52 Blue,” she draws interesting insights about loneliness and the shared experience of loneliness, but overall the essay felt rather removed and observational. In “Sim Life,” she writ I loved Leslie Jamison’s collection The Empathy Exams in 2014 but have struggled to connect with her work since then, including this book. For the first two sections of this essay collection, I felt like, in each essay, Jamison took a very long, drawn-out time to make one pretty solid point. For example, in her essay “52 Blue,” she draws interesting insights about loneliness and the shared experience of loneliness, but overall the essay felt rather removed and observational. In “Sim Life,” she writes about the nuances of people who use the online game Second Life, and while her observations feel eloquent and honest, they lack an oomph factor. While I appreciate Jamison’s capacity to dance among differing perspectives and honor the shades of grey inherent in complex topics, in these first two sections, I wanted her to take more of a stand, to show more of the investment that I’m sure she feels toward these topics. For example, in “Maximum Exposure,” I waited and waited to feel something in response to her writing, and I finally did when she delivered a dynamite last sentence to the essay, a sentence that made me stop in my tracks and journal about my emotions because it captivated me so much. I wanted more of these piercing insights throughout the collection (the final paragraph of the essay is as follows): ”When I look at Annie’s early proof sheets, from her first visits to Baja, I see some version of what she saw then: a mother with her infant, a father with his encyclopedias and his tequila bottles and his towering stacks of bricks. But I also see the long shadows cast by everything that hasn’t happened yet: years of day jobs and rejected grant applications and ruptured love affairs; fights with mothers and unexpected pregnancies; addictions and fires and bus rides to new lives. I see the lurking horizons of a project that would keep leaving Annie humbled, more confused than when she’d begun. After nine years: I understand nothing. In those early negatives, I see cornflakes and cigarettes and stubborn wind and sudden laughter. I see everything the photos knew alongside everything they didn’t know yet, and this unknowing is one more definition of love: committing to a story you can’t fully imagine when it begins.” Jamison did get more personal in the last third of the collection, but I could not get over how heteronormative and white these essays felt. Jamison talks about ended romantic relationships, becoming a stepmother, and giving birth to her daughter. Her writing flows well and feels so pleasant to read. She also makes compelling arguments about these topics, such as her point that we should neither glorify nor vilify stepmothers as we often do in the media. But I wanted a much more incisive analysis, acknowledgement, or commentary about the heteronormative, almost patriarchal prioritization of the nuclear family and of monogamous romantic relationships in these essays. For example, in “Museum of Broken Hearts,” I wished for a little meta-commentary about the prioritization of romantic relationships in society and how that influences people. In her last essay, in which she contrasts her experience with an eating disorder and how she fed herself to care for her daughter, I wanted more reflection about the healing process other than just the notion that one should feed oneself for the purpose of taking care of someone else, even if that feels true in Jamison’s experience. As someone who had an eating disorder and now works in mental health, this essay left me with a sour taste in my mouth, because while I so respect Jamison’s vulnerability and how she writes about her life, the lack of discussion of healing centered on other things aside from having children felt like a diminishing of the issue. Overall, in terms of 2019 essay collection releases, I would more recommend Jia Tolentino’s Trick Mirror , as Tolentino’s voice feels so distinct and she tackles topics like marriage while placing them in a sociopolitical context. I would also recommend No One Tells You This by Glynnis MacNicol and Hard to Love by Briallen Hopper, books written by white women that explicitly address heteronormativity as well as the authors’ white privilege. I recognize this review may come across as controversial given how so many others have praised this collection by Jamison, however, I want to stay true to my feelings and I hope I have done so with some semblance of grace.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    I feel like Jamison has matured in how she views relationships and other people. These essays seem more interested in other people's motivations and quirks than her own, and she comes across as curious and empathetic. In 2007, I wrote an article for an obscure music librarian journal about Second Life and she interviewed one of the same avatars for the essay on Second Life in this collection. "52 Blue" is a favorite in this collection, and I really liked "The Real Smoke" which is about Vegas cul I feel like Jamison has matured in how she views relationships and other people. These essays seem more interested in other people's motivations and quirks than her own, and she comes across as curious and empathetic. In 2007, I wrote an article for an obscure music librarian journal about Second Life and she interviewed one of the same avatars for the essay on Second Life in this collection. "52 Blue" is a favorite in this collection, and I really liked "The Real Smoke" which is about Vegas culture and our unrealistic expectations of relationships. This essay collection comes out next Tuesday (September 24, 2019,) and I have a copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Vincent Scarpa

    Leslie Jamison is one of the best nonfiction writers of our time. Reading her on the page is exactly what I want always to be doing.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rachel León

    (4 big stars, rounded up to 5 because one essay literally made me scream... in this AH, LESLIE YOUR WRITING IS KILLING ME sort of way, which was followed by me reading like three paragraphs over again out loud to soak in her genius.) This is a solid collection of essays, to say the least. Some of them I definitely want to revisit again. One or two I was like meh, but one or two meh when there are at least five or six that cut me deeply, still equals a stellar collection. Overall, I LO (4 big stars, rounded up to 5 because one essay literally made me scream... in this AH, LESLIE YOUR WRITING IS KILLING ME sort of way, which was followed by me reading like three paragraphs over again out loud to soak in her genius.) This is a solid collection of essays, to say the least. Some of them I definitely want to revisit again. One or two I was like meh, but one or two meh when there are at least five or six that cut me deeply, still equals a stellar collection. Overall, I LOVED it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lee

    Jamison has a very specific essay formula, but it's a very good one, and no-one else writes like this.

  7. 5 out of 5

    jeremy

    metaphor always connects two disparate points; it suggests that no pathos exists in isolation, no plight exists apart from the plights of others. loneliness seeks out metaphors not just for definition but for the companionship of resonance, the promise of kinship in comparison. leslie jamison's writing is incisive and insightful, and, at its best, is marked by a sort of epiphanic explication—as if the construction of her resplendent prose is conjoined with the realizations they are simultaneously producin metaphor always connects two disparate points; it suggests that no pathos exists in isolation, no plight exists apart from the plights of others. loneliness seeks out metaphors not just for definition but for the companionship of resonance, the promise of kinship in comparison. leslie jamison's writing is incisive and insightful, and, at its best, is marked by a sort of epiphanic explication—as if the construction of her resplendent prose is conjoined with the realizations they are simultaneously producing. it's a striking feature, like she is recalling the details of a particular scene in order to convince both herself as the teller and us as the told; the tale unlocking only in its telling. the fourteen essays in jamison's new collection, make it scream, make it burn, are divided into three sections: longing, looking, and dwelling. as found within her exceptional first collection, the empathy exams, jamison is drawn inextricably to the misunderstood, the lonely, the overlooked, the fragile, the forgotten, the quirky, and, above all, the personal. seemingly possessed by an insatiable curiosity (and perhaps a guiding desire to understand, to feel loved, to be seen, to be strong, to be acknowledged, and to fit in herself), jamison's camaraderie to and immersion in her chosen subjects strives toward objectivity, but is all the richer for its subjectivity (and self-awareness). simply put, she cares: about her craft and about the people in her essays; her skeptical benevolence inevitably yielding to a compassionate critique.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cassie (book__gal)

    Can I go ahead and anoint myself president of the Leslie Jamison fan club? She’s undoubtedly one of the best essayists of our time. Curiosity and empathy: the two virtues that run like a thread through all her work. She never tells a story about others (or herself) without these two elements. She has a tattoo on her arm that reads: "I am human, nothing human is alien to me”. That should tell you everything you need to know about Jamison’s work; she brings lucidity to the obscure, she ponders the Can I go ahead and anoint myself president of the Leslie Jamison fan club? She’s undoubtedly one of the best essayists of our time. Curiosity and empathy: the two virtues that run like a thread through all her work. She never tells a story about others (or herself) without these two elements. She has a tattoo on her arm that reads: "I am human, nothing human is alien to me”. That should tell you everything you need to know about Jamison’s work; she brings lucidity to the obscure, she ponders the mocked, the lonely, the deviating; she’s not afraid to converge with those that have diverged, as evident especially in The Empathy Exams (her previous essays) but also here too. ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Jamison always examines her own place in the stories she tells: her motivations, her biases, her behaviors. I admire this, because I try to do the same in my own life. I try to be self-aware as best I can, and I find it both admirable and compelling to watch Jamison work out her self-awareness on the page. Her examinations of her internal life, that make up the final third of the book, were particularly affecting to me. Indeed many of the essays made me cry, some because I could relate to her reflections on the divorce of her parents and complicated relationships and also just because I feel a sort of kindred-spirit-ness in her writing, like she had plucked unknowable feelings from me and assigned words that made sense. Her rumination on the yearning for yearning made something within me feel recognized. ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Many of the nonfiction essay collections we read today are a time capsule for modern life (think: internet culture, political revolution, millennials, gender, pop culture). I enjoy reading the discourse on our current state of affairs, of course, and Jamison touches on some of these topics; but if other writers are creating time capsules of modernity, Leslie Jamison is creating an opus of life - across all the ages and generations, across humanity: the loneliness, the love, the pain, the desire, the belief, the messiness, the joy, all of it. I hope you read this book and feel some connection to it, because in the end, connection - I think that’s all that matters.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tucker

    Leslie Jamison has become one of my new favorite essay authors. I recently read the essay collection “The Empathy Exams," and “The Recovering,” a book length examination of addiction and recovery. Both books are ones I’ve highly recommended. The essays in “Make It Scream, Make it Burn” are wide-ranging in subject matter - from a blue whale who never found a mate and came to represent loneliness to many people, reincarnation, the historical role of stepmothers, and her personal relationships and Leslie Jamison has become one of my new favorite essay authors. I recently read the essay collection “The Empathy Exams," and “The Recovering,” a book length examination of addiction and recovery. Both books are ones I’ve highly recommended. The essays in “Make It Scream, Make it Burn” are wide-ranging in subject matter - from a blue whale who never found a mate and came to represent loneliness to many people, reincarnation, the historical role of stepmothers, and her personal relationships and pregnancy. Some of the most thought-provoking essays were those that were journalistic and investigative in nature, and examined what the proper role of a journalist is when exploring people’s lives and beliefs. Jamison is ever conscious of what is ethical and right in those situations and never comes off as exploitative, condescending, or voyeuristic. Her immense curiosity, eloquent writing, deep insight, and rigorous intellect make this another winner from Jamison. Thank you to Little, Brown and Company and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I received an egalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review; opinions are my own. Leslie Jamison is such a good essayist, y’all. She weaves together lyrical imagery, well-researched facts, personal narrative and broad context so well in pretty much everything she writes. This collection is organized in a really interesting way, and while the subjects of these essays range from the quirky (the whale Blue 52, the Museum Of Broken Relationships) to the deeply personal (Jami I received an egalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review; opinions are my own. Leslie Jamison is such a good essayist, y’all. She weaves together lyrical imagery, well-researched facts, personal narrative and broad context so well in pretty much everything she writes. This collection is organized in a really interesting way, and while the subjects of these essays range from the quirky (the whale Blue 52, the Museum Of Broken Relationships) to the deeply personal (Jamison’s journey into step-parenthood and then biological motherhood) to the highly intellectual (essays on photography and a sprawling analysis of James Agee’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men), there are clear themes and style that hold them all together. The ideas of self-consciousness, moral virtue, and how to be a ‘good’ citizen or person in the world/how we fail at this all the time can be found in every essay, as well as what it means to love and be loved, to experience loss, to be curious- really to be human. While I found the Agee essay in particular (the title essay) to be kind of long and a bit boring, it still shines on a craft level, and almost every other essay was a hit for me. I definitely recommend this book!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Biljana

    Leslie Jamison is such a talented nonfiction writer. This set of essays is categorized around 3 categories, which explore Longing, Looking, and Dwelling. Jamison is at her best when she fuses an exploration of a topic with the personal (e.g., the portrayal of step-motherhood in literature and society and Jamison's own experience with step-motherhood) or explores individuals who might not otherwise be considered (e.g., people who feel a kinship with a special blue whale, those who live part of their Leslie Jamison is such a talented nonfiction writer. This set of essays is categorized around 3 categories, which explore Longing, Looking, and Dwelling. Jamison is at her best when she fuses an exploration of a topic with the personal (e.g., the portrayal of step-motherhood in literature and society and Jamison's own experience with step-motherhood) or explores individuals who might not otherwise be considered (e.g., people who feel a kinship with a special blue whale, those who live part of their lives in Second City, a museum dedicated to broken relationships). Only one of the pieces fell flat for me (one on James Agee's work that gives this collection its name). Thanks to the author, Little Brown & Company, and NetGalley for a chance to review this forthcoming work in exchange for a review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Makenzie

    I would walk over hot coals for Leslie Jamison. She somehow manages to turn subjects that seem vaguely cliché into entirely original and deeply profound meditations—I was particularly blown away by "52 Blue" and "We Tell Ourselves Stores in Order to Live Again." BUT the best essay in this collection is by far the last one, "The Quickening," where she juxtaposes her former eating disorder with her pregnancy and the birth of her daughter. I've read it 3 times now and it's made me sob each time.

  13. 5 out of 5

    britt_brooke

    This collection is a mix of journalistic endeavors and personal essays. I usually prefer one or the other rather than a blend because organization can feel clunky and uneven. That was the case here. IMO, the strongest essays were the first and last, “52 Blue” and “The Quickening,” respectively.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Callum McAllister

    Leslie Jamison is the greatest living American essayist. This is much in the same vein as The Empathy Exams and The Recovering. More personal than the Empathy Exams and feels more together - more so that the essays are pointing towards the same thing. Early on I was hoping that there would be a move from the analytical reportage of the early essays to a more personal tone, which happened and fantastically so. A great collection.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    This collection is so insightful and thought-provoking! It is divided into three sections Longing, Looking and Dwelling. Jamison, a masterful essayist weaves together personal narrative with well researched fact. The subject matter within these essays are interesting, quirky and at times deeply personal. Themes of lonliness, obsession, loss, marriage, relationships, motherhood, and more. I appreciated her objectivity in each essay. You can feel her curiosity and connection to her subjects and th This collection is so insightful and thought-provoking! It is divided into three sections Longing, Looking and Dwelling. Jamison, a masterful essayist weaves together personal narrative with well researched fact. The subject matter within these essays are interesting, quirky and at times deeply personal. Themes of lonliness, obsession, loss, marriage, relationships, motherhood, and more. I appreciated her objectivity in each essay. You can feel her curiosity and connection to her subjects and the reader. Her graceful prose and storytelling abilities pull you right in. Reading her work is a unique experience and she is a very talented writer and essayist to say the least. If you haven't read her before definitely check this one out! Available September 24th! • Thank You to the publisher for sending me this #ARC. Opinions are my own. • For more of my book content check out instagram.com/bookalong

  16. 4 out of 5

    Casey Cep

    Holy Moly! James Agee, Reincarnation, the Loneliest Whale in the World, Vegas Casinos, Border Crossings, the Museum of Broken Relationships -- you name it, and Leslie Jamison has wrangled into this incredible new collection of essays. Seriously, what a thrill to see so much new work from such a wonderful writer. I'll be interviewing Leslie Jamison on Wednesday, September 25, 2019 at 7PM at Politics & Prose. Please join us for a wonderful conversation: https://www.politics-prose.com/event/...

  17. 4 out of 5

    Camryn

    So like. I don’t think this is the type of book made for me. She wrote about lonely whales and not projecting our feelings onto them and David foster wallace and kids who think they’ve been reincarnated... I thought the essays would be organized around a specific topic, but they weren’t. I’d also read at least three of them online, which I suppose wasn’t her fault, but I skipped. I actually skipped a lot of the essays because she’d start by talking about, like, random men from the 1920s and they So like. I don’t think this is the type of book made for me. She wrote about lonely whales and not projecting our feelings onto them and David foster wallace and kids who think they’ve been reincarnated... I thought the essays would be organized around a specific topic, but they weren’t. I’d also read at least three of them online, which I suppose wasn’t her fault, but I skipped. I actually skipped a lot of the essays because she’d start by talking about, like, random men from the 1920s and they were so very like... I don’t want to say pretentious, but yeah. My favorite essays were the personal ones: about what Vegas means to her, about her daughter, her brother, being a step mother. The rest? I don’t know. Maybe I’m not meant for this type of writing; it seems like stuff that’d be published in the New Yorker.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ginni

    3.5 Make it Scream, Make it Burn is a collection of loosely-related essays, many about the author's own life, and others about subjects that caught her fancy. For the most part, these are ordinary people and routine situations; Jamison digs for meaning in things that are often overlooked, and I appreciate that. Her words are lovely, startlingly human, layered with research and years of experience in her craft. I'm not going to pretend like Leslie Jamison isn't a great writer. She is. But 3.5 Make it Scream, Make it Burn is a collection of loosely-related essays, many about the author's own life, and others about subjects that caught her fancy. For the most part, these are ordinary people and routine situations; Jamison digs for meaning in things that are often overlooked, and I appreciate that. Her words are lovely, startlingly human, layered with research and years of experience in her craft. I'm not going to pretend like Leslie Jamison isn't a great writer. She is. But sometimes Make it Scream just tries too hard to find meaning where maybe a cigar is just a cigar and maybe a photograph is just a photograph. The essays about Jamison's life are rich and moving, but the art critiques fall oddly flat. There's also something exploitative about the way she uses unsuspecting people as material. Jamison admits feeling weird about this, but she still published it, so it must not have bothered her THAT much. I was particularly disturbed by how easy it was to identify the full name and identity of the woman from the layover story, who is not depicted in a particularly flattering light. Per Anne Lamott, you own everything that happens to you—but just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. (I received this book for free through a Goodreads giveaway.)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Peter Knox

    Leslie Jamison is one of those writers that I'm going to read every time they publish something, something she earned with The Empathy Exams and rewarded me with The Recovering. So naturally I looked forward to reading this new collection of her essays. But on the heels of TEE, it's a difficult followup that I found somewhat uneven to enjoy and much closer to the type of collection like Pulphead by JJS - some academic reviews, more impersonal criticism - instead of the fire hot crackl Leslie Jamison is one of those writers that I'm going to read every time they publish something, something she earned with The Empathy Exams and rewarded me with The Recovering. So naturally I looked forward to reading this new collection of her essays. But on the heels of TEE, it's a difficult followup that I found somewhat uneven to enjoy and much closer to the type of collection like Pulphead by JJS - some academic reviews, more impersonal criticism - instead of the fire hot crackling writing that anyone reading TEE would be consumed by in the process. That said, the more I read into the book the more I liked it. She really hits her stride about two thirds (the last part, Part III: Dwelling) in where the essays are personal, introspective, close to the bone, and as true as anything she's written - taking her experience of relationships, marriage, step-mothering, parenting, and motherhood and exposing universal truths through her beautiful writing. I loved getting to know the story of her current relationship and marriage, how it felt to become a stepmother in the culture of ugly stepmother brand recognition (thank you fairy tales!), and her own pregnancy and birth story. I certainly appreciate reading all of this more than I would've years before I had my own firsthand experience with similar personal journeys and am glad she could put these thoughts into words so worth reading. So while there's a few early essays I could've passed up along the way, I'm glad I stuck around to have her stick the landing here. She remains in the must-read list for me.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Thanks to the publisher, via Netgalley, for an advance e-galley for honest review. 4.5 stars, rounded. Leslie Jamison's writing is entirely masterful, and her thoughtfully researched essays in this collection were, as a collective whole, fascinating. I found the last section, which were the most personal stories, focusing on her own relationships, the most compelling and resonant (in particular, her essay discussing stepmothers in literature and culture versus her own experience as a Thanks to the publisher, via Netgalley, for an advance e-galley for honest review. 4.5 stars, rounded. Leslie Jamison's writing is entirely masterful, and her thoughtfully researched essays in this collection were, as a collective whole, fascinating. I found the last section, which were the most personal stories, focusing on her own relationships, the most compelling and resonant (in particular, her essay discussing stepmothers in literature and culture versus her own experience as a stepmother was absolutely fascinating). Definitely a collection that isn't to be missed.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lissa

    3.5 stars I will always read anything that Leslie Jamison writes, mainly because I loved everything that she has written in the past. That said, this collection was maybe not my favorite. As always, the essays were extremely well written but some of these felt dated and one I am sure that I read before in a magazine (which is weird, because I don’t read a lot of magazines). Some were very good, some didn’t really hold my interest for the entire piece. So, while this was a perfectly enjoyabl 3.5 stars I will always read anything that Leslie Jamison writes, mainly because I loved everything that she has written in the past. That said, this collection was maybe not my favorite. As always, the essays were extremely well written but some of these felt dated and one I am sure that I read before in a magazine (which is weird, because I don’t read a lot of magazines). Some were very good, some didn’t really hold my interest for the entire piece. So, while this was a perfectly enjoyable collection, I guess my expectations were a little higher. I received a digital ARC of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Wagner

    A book of essays. What about? Challenging perceptions, ultimately. The limitation of our own gaze. How journalism captures these limits and shares them out with their skewed areas of focus. If you can keep the theme in your mind as you're reading, this will make more sense. Otherwise this comes across as a bit scattered, a bit forced. I even considered not finishing it, because I lose patience with collections of essays. They tend not to give me enough to get invested, and then I have to move on A book of essays. What about? Challenging perceptions, ultimately. The limitation of our own gaze. How journalism captures these limits and shares them out with their skewed areas of focus. If you can keep the theme in your mind as you're reading, this will make more sense. Otherwise this comes across as a bit scattered, a bit forced. I even considered not finishing it, because I lose patience with collections of essays. They tend not to give me enough to get invested, and then I have to move on to the next one. Still, there are some shining gems in here. The story of a photographer who has become enmeshed with the Mexican family she's been photographing for decades. The exploration of becoming a stepmother, in a culture where the mythos of stepmothers is saintly and demonic. The writing itself was a bit too wordy, a bit too introspective.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Thank you to the publisher, via NetGalley, for providing me with an e-arc for review. This has in no way influenced my opinion. This, like my experience with all essay collections, was an uneven ride. I really enjoyed a few of the essays: 52 Blue, Sim Life, Up in Jaffna, and The Museum of Broken Hearts were standouts for me, for example. Jamison's writing remains emotional and accessible, if not a long winded on a few of the pieces. How much she cares about the subjects of each of her Thank you to the publisher, via NetGalley, for providing me with an e-arc for review. This has in no way influenced my opinion. This, like my experience with all essay collections, was an uneven ride. I really enjoyed a few of the essays: 52 Blue, Sim Life, Up in Jaffna, and The Museum of Broken Hearts were standouts for me, for example. Jamison's writing remains emotional and accessible, if not a long winded on a few of the pieces. How much she cares about the subjects of each of her essays leaps off the page - and you're sucked in, even if the topic wasn't something you were previously aware of, or would've thought you'd be interested in. If you've enjoyed her past work or have an interest in niche journalism, pick this up!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    I fell in love with Leslie Jamison's writing with her exquisite memoir, The Recovering. Her journalistic storytelling gets a chance to run wild in the series of essays contained in Make It Scream, Make It Burn. Ms. Jamison takes the reader all over the world as if they are living in her notebooks along with her stories. Well done.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    i found her such a stereotype at some times. and some pieces seemed sappy or contrived or trying too hard, rather than authentic to me. i liked daughter of a ghost and museum of broken hearts - i really liked museum of broken hearts. i thought the quickening was pretty good too, but the comparisons of the size of the baby to all the fruits was very ugh to me. i liked the subjects in we tell ourselves stories in order to live again, and sim life (which i think i'd read in the atlantic?? before). i found her such a stereotype at some times. and some pieces seemed sappy or contrived or trying too hard, rather than authentic to me. i liked daughter of a ghost and museum of broken hearts - i really liked museum of broken hearts. i thought the quickening was pretty good too, but the comparisons of the size of the baby to all the fruits was very ugh to me. i liked the subjects in we tell ourselves stories in order to live again, and sim life (which i think i'd read in the atlantic?? before). maximum exposure was cool too. but the first two i listed are the only ones that really stood out to me. i went to her book talk in dc, and she seems super nice and like a great teacher / i would love to learn from her, but her work just doesnt really do it for me. the way i feel about her work is the way hellokaty makes me roll my eyes, i feel like hellokaty will grow up to be this lady. it's THAT stereotype

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    i don't really know what to say about this collection - i love jamison's writing and i love her ever continuing excavation on empathy and what it means and how it feels to move through the world connecting to others. i did love "blue 52" in this collection. i think i was just missing some of the magic she can create in zooming in on these niche or very popular behaviours or experiences that can connect the reader to the subject in a way that acknowledges difference but appeals to our common huma i don't really know what to say about this collection - i love jamison's writing and i love her ever continuing excavation on empathy and what it means and how it feels to move through the world connecting to others. i did love "blue 52" in this collection. i think i was just missing some of the magic she can create in zooming in on these niche or very popular behaviours or experiences that can connect the reader to the subject in a way that acknowledges difference but appeals to our common humanity.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Leticia Vila-Sanjuán

    4.6 I'm always drawn towards Jamison's writing and her way of seeing the world. this book consists of mostly previously published work, so there are repetitions here and there. some essays are better and some are worse but this still makes a compelling, fascinating, engaging book of essays. there's an invisible line that communicates this essays with the ones on the empathy exams, and I liked that. I will probably read everything Jamison publishes

  28. 5 out of 5

    Hillary

    The last section of the book was perfect. The rest I could have done without.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kate (kate_reads_)

    15% - May come back to it, just not for right now.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alice

    This. Book. The essay on Las Vegas in particular, The Real Smoke, was heartbreaking perfection.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.