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Publisher's Summary

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 03-18-15


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 09-15-16

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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By William on 03-19-18

Depth and richness

It seems to me that there are two ways to listen and be enriched by this book, these essays. She is an excellent writer who uses Rich turns of phrase and intelligent, poetic voice to communicate the stories themselves is one. The content of the essays; their ability to provoke both thought and emotion is the other.

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