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The Empathy Exams

About the Book

The Empathy Exams

From personal loss to phantom diseases, THE EMPATHY EXAMS is a bold and brilliant collection, winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize and a Publishers Weekly “Top Ten” book of 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.

The Empathy Exams
by Leslie Jamison

  • Publication Date: April 1, 2014
  • Genres: Cultural Studies, Essays, Nonfiction
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Graywolf Press
  • ISBN-10: 1555976719
  • ISBN-13: 9781555976712