Make it Scream, Make it Burn

Make it Scream, Make it Burn

A new collection of essays about obsession and longing from Leslie Jamison, the New York Times bestselling author of The Recovering and The Empathy Exams. A combination of memoir, criticism, and journalism, Make It Scream, Make It Burn is Leslie Jamison's profound exploration of the oceanic depths of longing and the reverberations of obsession.

Among Jamison's subjects are 52 Blue, deemed "the loneliest whale in the world"; the eerie specter of reincarnated children; devotees of an online existence called Second Life, to the exclusion of their real lives; Civil War photography; and an entire museum dedicated to relationship breakups. Through these essays and through forays into her own obsessions and longings, Jamison delves into the nature of storytelling itself. We wonder alongside her whether it is ever really possible to hear someone else's story without somehow making it our own, without seeing it through the cracked windows of our private selves.

Throughout these essays, Jamison, who has frequently been compared to Joan Didion and Susan Sontag, shines the spotlight every bit as uncomfortably on herself as she does on others. Unlike the standard journalistic practice, Jamison acknowledges her emotional investment in her subjects, always with utmost clarity and unwavering empathy. In her view, true art cannot be made any other way. Indeed, this refusal to hide—this emotional frankness—is precisely the quality that makes Jamison's questing and irrepressible voice impossible not to fall in love with.

Title:Make it Scream, Make it Burn
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780316259637
Format Type:

    Make it Scream, Make it Burn Reviews

  • Michael

    Incisive and candid, Make It Scream, Make It Burn is Jamison’s strongest work yet. Moving from the external to the internal, the three-part essay collection is thematically structured: the first reg...

  • Thomas

    I loved Leslie Jamison’s collection The Empathy Exams in 2014 but have struggled to connect with her work since then, including this book. For the first two sections of this essay collection, I fe...

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)

    I feel like Jamison has matured in how she views relationships and other people. These essays seem more interested in other people's motivations and quirks than her own, and she comes across as curiou...

  • Vincent Scarpa

    Leslie Jamison is one of the best nonfiction writers of our time. Reading her on the page is exactly what I want always to be doing....

  • Rachel Len

    (4 big stars, rounded up to 5 because one essay literally made me scream... in this AH, LESLIE YOUR WRITING IS KILLING ME sort of way, which was followed by me reading like three paragraphs over again...

  • Lee

    Jamison has a very specific essay formula, but it's a very good one, and no-one else writes like this....

  • jeremy

    metaphor always connects two disparate points; it suggests that no pathos exists in isolation, no plight exists apart from the plights of others. loneliness seeks out metaphors not just for definitio...

  • Cassie (book__gal)

    Can I go ahead and anoint myself president of the Leslie Jamison fan club? She’s undoubtedly one of the best essayists of our time. Curiosity and empathy: the two virtues that run like a thread thro...

  • Tucker

    Leslie Jamison has become one of my new favorite essay authors. I recently read the essay collection “The Empathy Exams," and “The Recovering,” a book length examination of addiction and recover...

  • Sarah

    I received an egalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review; opinions are my own.Leslie Jamison is such a good essayist, y’all. She weaves together lyrical imagery, well-researched fac...