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.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
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.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
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.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful