Make It Scream, Make It Burn | Granta

  • Published: 01/10/2020
  • ISBN: 9781783781560
  • Granta Books
  • 272 pages

Make It Scream, Make It Burn

Leslie Jamison

‘Intelligent, compassionate, and so fiercely, prodigiously brave. This is the essay at its creative, philosophical best’ Eleanor Catton, author of The Luminaries on THE EMPATHY EXAMS

A profound exploration of the oceanic depths of longing and obsession, Make It Scream, Make It Burn is a book about why and how we tell stories. It takes the reader deep into the lives of strangers – from a woman healed by the song of ‘the loneliest whale in the world’ to a family convinced their child is a reincarnation of a lost pilot – and asks how we can bear witness to the changing truths of other’s lives while striving to find a deeper connection to the complexities of our own.

Essays of compassion and conviction... Jamison covers a wide range of subjects with deep empathy and intelligence. . . Perhaps all writing is an innate, primal scream, and Jamison - astutely - knows and embodies this with compassion and vigour

Sinéad Gleeson, Irish Times

Railing, roaring essays on humanity... Jamison has time for everyone... excellent


Wide-ranging... [Jamison's] language is typically lush... [she] picks excellent topics... Jamison walks a careful line between scepticism and compassion - never sacrificing her subjects' dignity... fascinating

New Statesman

The Author

Leslie Jamison grew up in Los Angeles. Educated at Harvard College and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she has also worked as an innkeeper in California, a schoolteacher in Nicaragua, and an office temp in Manhattan. She is the NewYork Times bestselling author of The Recovering and The Empathy Exams, as well as a novel, The Gin Closet. Her work has appeared in Harper’s, The Atlantic,Oxford American, Virginia Quarterly Review, and the New York Times Magazine, where she is a contributing writer. She directs the graduate nonfiction program at Columbia University.

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From the Same Author

Leslie Jamison on

In Conversation | The Online Edition

In Conversation

Leslie Jamison & Margo Jefferson

‘The self is the work of art. Criticism puts that self in the service of other art.’

The authors discuss the multiplicity of the self, the idea of necessity, and how to work with what you lack.

Essays & Memoir | The Online Edition

The Day After Trump Won

Leslie Jamison

‘I feel afraid, and I do not know what to make of yesterday’s belief. I can see that belief like an object shimmering underwater, a kind of relic.’