From personal loss to phantom diseases, The Empathy Exams is a bold and brilliant collection, winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize
A Publishers Weekly Top Ten Essay Collection of Spring 2014
Beginning with her experience as a medical actor who was paid to act out symptoms for medical students to diagnose, Leslie Jamison's visceral and revealing essays ask essential questions about our basic understanding of others: How should we care about each other? How can we feel another's pain, especially when pain can be assumed, distorted, or performed? Is empathy a tool by which to test or even grade each other? By confronting pain - real and imagined, her own and others' - Jamison uncovers a personal and cultural urgency to feel. She draws from her own experiences of illness and bodily injury to engage in an exploration that extends far beyond her life, spanning wide-ranging territory - from poverty tourism to phantom diseases, street violence to reality television, illness to incarceration - in its search for a kind of sight shaped by humility and grace.
©2014 Leslie Jamison (P)2015 Audible Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By 2or3littlebirds on 18-03-15


If you could sum up The Empathy Exams in three words, what would they be?

Smart, philosophical, creepy

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Empathy Exams?

I am only half way through the book, but the 2nd essay is skin crawling, literally.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Coleen Marlo?

Anyone. She has a strange, annoying voice that sounds digitally generated. She also isn't consistent in her pronunciations. Seemed unrehearsed to me, and I found myself distracted from the narrative, wanting to turn her off.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The first essay will remain with you.

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6 of 7 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Jennifer D. Cook on 15-09-16

What's up with the narrator?

This is beautiful writing, but I'm hearing through a metallic sounding robot. I have two hours to go but don't think I can finish because this narrators voice is so deeply unpleasant.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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