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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.
About the Author
Leslie Jamison is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Recovering and The Empathy Exams, and the novel The Gin Closet. She is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, and her work has appeared in publications including The Atlantic, Harper's, the New York Times Book Review, the Oxford American, and the Virginia Quarterly Review. She directs the graduate nonfiction program at Columbia University and lives in Brooklyn with her family.
"Illuminating and ruminative...Jamison is positively brilliant when penetrating a subject and unraveling its layers of meaning...Fans of the author's unique brand of perceptiveness will be delighted."—Publishers Weekly
Praise for The Recovering -- Entertainment Weekly's #1 Nonfiction Book of 2018
"Magnificent and genuinely moving. The rare addiction memoir that gets better after sobriety takes hold."—New York Times
"An honest and important book...Vivid writing and required reading."—Stephen King
"An astounding triumph...Rings achingly wise and burrows painfully deep...A recovery memoir like no other."—Entertainment Weekly
"Spectacularly evocative and sensuous...A compelling, fiercely ambitious book...Its publication represents the most significant new addition to the canon in more than a decade."—The Atlantic
"Masterful...Essential reading...Although the subject is dark, Jamison has managed to write an often very funny page-turner."—Bookforum
"Lush, almost caressing...Illuminating...What a gift."—NPR
"Energetic, colorful, fun, buzzy, affecting, and spot-on."—New York Times Book Review
"Profound...Bracingly smart...A remarkable feat."—Time
"Perceptive and generous-hearted...Jamison is a writer of exacting grace."—Washington Post
"Riveting...Beautifully told...Wisdom floods the scene and genius never flees."—Boston Globe
"Bursts with insight...An extraordinary document of self-reckoning that will make you think and rethink the trajectory of your own life."—New Republic
"We perhaps have no writer better on the subject of psychic suffering and its consolations."—The New Yorker
"Gritty...Raw...Thought-provoking and distinct...Fascinating in ways you might not expect."—San Francisco Chronicle
"Brilliant...Jamison is a writer intent on holding nothing back."—Los Angeles Times
"Wonderful...Wholly original...It shines."—USA Today