ONE OF THE FALL'S MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS: Time, Entertainment Weekly, O, Oprah Magazine, Boston Globe, Seattle Times, BuzzFeed, Newsweek, Bustle, Woman’s Day, Nylon, BookPage, The Millions, Marie Claire, Good Housekeeping, Lit Hub, AV Club, Goop, Book Riot, Pacific Standard, The Week, and Romper.
“Jamison has emerged as a giant in the world of creative nonfiction. She returns with a beautifully compiled collection of essays reflecting on obsession and longing.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Leslie Jamison's astonishingly formidable, restless intellect has gifted us two monumental works of nonfiction: 2014's The Empathy Exams, and last year's The Recovering. Here, she turns her exacting eye on subjects such as the loneliest whale in the world and a Croatian museum filled with the effluvia of failed relationships.”— O, The Oprah Magazine
“This wide-ranging essay collection is insightful and searching, exciting and staggering. Jamison interweaves memoir, journalism, and cultural criticism into essays that explore topics like motherhood, romance, and relationships… Jamison has been compared to such greats as Joan Didion and Susan Sontag, so if you enjoy those, you'll love this one.”—Good Housekeeping
“In her new essay collection, Jamison allows herself to roam beyond the boundaries of one issue, and instead latches her powerful, precise observations to a number of unconventional topics.”—Cristina Arreola, Bustle
"These perceptive essays demonstrate that the best-selling author of The Empathy Exams continues to explore the limits of human connections." --- Elle
"To fortify and enlarge the world through eloquence--apt descriptions of Jamison's new collection...Another wonderful book from this gifted writer." --- The Millions
“If you ever need to be reminded of the potential of the essay and why essay collections matter or if you just want to get excited about one, read Leslie Jamison…In Make It Scream, Make it Burn, three of the most poignant and personal essays come in the final section: one on Jamison’s own marriage…A brilliant exploration of what it means to be a stepmother…and the last, an essay on giving birth that flips back and forth between Jamison’s pregnancy and an eating disorder that marked her earlier experiences of her body.”—Goop
"Illuminating and ruminative...Jamison is positively brilliant when penetrating a subject and unraveling its layers of meaning...Fans of the author's unique brand of perceptiveness will be delighted."
--- Publishers Weekly
“A whirlwind exploration of longing and obsession… How could you not be intrigued?”—Marie Claire
"Richly diverse…The pieces in Make It Scream, Make It Burn are all written with care and intricacy, drawing readers in and making us care…Jamison's observational skills, genuine empathy, and lack of sentimentality create an intelligent blending of journalism, scholarship, and memoir."
--- Pam Kingsbury, Library Journal
"Insightful...The essays in the collection (which can easily be torn through, though should really be savored) contain observations on an eclectic array of subjects...Like the glass in a kaleidoscope, Jamison's fine-tuned attention seems capable of refracting whatever subject it touches. When I finally looked up from the page it was with a renewed sense of wonder."
--- Cornelia Channing, The Paris Review
"Leslie Jamison is a master of blending memoir, criticism and journalism...[her] characteristic fusion of the intellectual and emotional is in full force here, cementing comparisons of her work to that of Joan Didion and Susan Sontag."
--- Christy Lynch, Bookpage
"Even as she documents the experiences of others--Sri Lankan soldiers, Second Life superusers, eminent writers and photographers--Jamison is keenly aware of how her personal experiences shape the way she reports their stories. It's this knowledge that propels the collection, along with her rejection of cynicism in favor of being open to new ideas and experiences, no matter how foreign they may seem."
--- Maris Kreizman, Pacific Standard
"Jamison is one of my favorite working essayists...[In] Make It Scream, Make It Burn [she] dances between the personal, the critical, and the observational, showing her deftness when it comes to each form." --- Jeva Lange, The Week
"Magnetizing and thought-provoking...An edgy spirit of inquiry, a penchant for sharing personal experiences, and incandescent writing skills make Jamison an exciting premier essayist."--- Donna Seaman, Booklist
"Leslie Jamison is a writer of supreme eloquence and intelligence who deftly combines journalistic, critical and memoiristic approaches to produce essays that linger long in the memory." --- LitHub
"Jamison interrogates a variety of fascinating subjects, including her own life, in her praiseworthy second essay collection... Make It Scream, Make It Burn confirms the praise heaped on 2014's The Empathy Exams for her uncanny ability to blend perceptive reportage with intensely personal essays in consistently fresh, dynamic prose.” --- Harvey Freedenberg, Shelf Awareness
MAKE IT SCREAM, MAKE IT BURN is a collection of fourteen essays exploring the dynamics of haunting and obsession. I look at how we are defined by what we can’t ever fully grasp, from the ghosts of possible prior lives to the perpetually unfinished work of documentary art, from the alternate selves of our online avatars to the specters of broken romances. If my first collection of essays, The Empathy Exams, explored the perilous allure of empathy, this collection examines what happens not when we look but when we can’t look away—when we find ourselves consumed by desire or fascination.
The structure of MAKE IT SCREAM, MAKE IT BURN serves as a mirror image to The Empathy Exams. Whereas the latter started with the personal and gradually turned outward, MAKE IT SCREAM, MAKE IT BURN progresses from the outward-looking to the deeply personal. It begins with a trio of pieces of longform reportage: an account of the “loneliest whale in the world” and his devoted followers, an exploration of children who vividly member their past lives, and an examination of those who find community in the virtual world of Second Life. In the pages that follow, it takes readers to Sri Lanka to survey the residue of its Civil War, offers the definitive critical account of an outsider artist’s 25-year documentary photography project on both sides of the US/Mexico border, and ruminates on a museum devoted to the breakups of ordinary strangers. I ultimately turn to the achingly personal, examining my own life as a site of strangeness and mystery, considering the dynamics of obsession, haunting, and longing in essays about weddings, infidelity, elopement in Las Vegas, becoming a stepmother, and my own pregnancy juxtaposed against an eating disorder years before. These are essays about how we are composed by what we long for, and by living in uneasy relation to what we have.