The Empathy Exams

  • by Leslie Jamison
  • Narrated by Coleen Marlo
  • 8 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


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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- 2or3littlebirds

Not my cup of tea...

A very real and detailed look at pain, suffering and empathy from the authors personal experience/research...some of it is very moving and thought-provoking to me, however I did not enjoy the style in which some of it was portrayed. I did listen to the end and enjoyed the narration.
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- Ben

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-26-2015
  • Publisher: Audible Studios