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The Empathy Exams: Essays - Leslie Jamison

I got my hands on an Advance Reader's copy of this book and words can almost not describe how thrilled I am that I did. Beautifully-written as much as it is thought-provoking.

I will confess that I hate emotion; I hate expressing it, I hate the awkwardness of not knowing how to react when others express it, and most of all, I hate reading about it. However, Leslie Jamison completely changed my response to emotion. This compilation of essays takes emotion and empathy and spins it in a new way, demonstrating a deep understanding on an unknowable topic. She shows the importance and necessity of empathy as well as emotion. I felt personally connected to Jamison as she described pains in her life and at times it was almost as if she were speaking from my own mind. Whether it was breakups, getting punched in the face, skinning her knees, eating disorders, an abortion, or cutting, I was just as connected with her during the pains that I myself had experienced as with those I have not. Jamison invites the reader into her own life so openly, that it is difficult to not be drawn in by her words.

I absolutely loved this book. Even if you don't read all of the essays, I would highly suggest reading, "The Empathy Exams", "Pain Tours (I)", and "Grand Unified Theory of Female Pain", all of which were simply amazing. This book was absolutely perfect.