Make It Scream, Make It Burn: Essays

Make It Scream, Make It Burn: Essays

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...

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Title:Make It Scream, Make It Burn: Essays
Author:Leslie Jamison
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Edition Language:English

Make It Scream, Make It Burn: Essays Reviews

  • 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.

  • Michael

    Incisive and candid,

    is Jamison’s strongest work yet. Moving from the external to the internal, the three-part essay collection is thematically structured: the first regards the loneliness and longing of others; the second examines the bond between artists and their subjects, focusing on what it means to represent and engage with suffering; the third explores Jamison’s personal struggles with addiction, romance, pregnancy, and (step)motherhood. Whether the writer’s a

    Incisive and candid,

    is Jamison’s strongest work yet. Moving from the external to the internal, the three-part essay collection is thematically structured: the first regards the loneliness and longing of others; the second examines the bond between artists and their subjects, focusing on what it means to represent and engage with suffering; the third explores Jamison’s personal struggles with addiction, romance, pregnancy, and (step)motherhood. Whether the writer’s analyzing the troubling social dynamics underlying

    or closely reading James Agee’s

    , she’s consistently lucid, and the personal essays in the third section are especially moving. Well worth checking out.

  • Kate

    This collection is so insightful and thought-provoking! It is divided into three sections Longing, Looking and Dwelling. Jamison, a masterful essayist weaves together personal narrative with well researched fact. The subject matter within these essays are interesting, quirky and at times deeply personal. Themes of lonliness, obsession, loss, marriage, relationships, motherhood, and more. I appreciated her objectivity in each essay. You can feel her curiosity and connection to her subjects and th

    This collection is so insightful and thought-provoking! It is divided into three sections Longing, Looking and Dwelling. Jamison, a masterful essayist weaves together personal narrative with well researched fact. The subject matter within these essays are interesting, quirky and at times deeply personal. Themes of lonliness, obsession, loss, marriage, relationships, motherhood, and more. I appreciated her objectivity in each essay. You can feel her curiosity and connection to her subjects and the reader. Her graceful prose and storytelling abilities pull you right in. Reading her work is a unique experience and she is a very talented writer and essayist to say the least. If you haven't read her before definitely check this one out!

    Available September 24th!

    Thank You to the publisher for sending me this #ARC. Opinions are my own.

    For more of my book content check out

  • Rachel León

    (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 out loud to soak in her genius.)

    This is a solid collection of essays, to say the least. Some of them I definitely want to revisit again. One or two I was like meh, but one or two meh when there are at least five or six that cut me deeply, still equals a stellar collection. Overall, I LOVED it.

  • 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 facts, personal narrative and broad context so well in pretty much everything she writes. This collection is organized in a really interesting way, and while the subjects of these essays range from the quirky (the whale Blue 52, the Museum Of Broken Relationships) to the deeply personal (Jamison’s journe

    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 facts, personal narrative and broad context so well in pretty much everything she writes. This collection is organized in a really interesting way, and while the subjects of these essays range from the quirky (the whale Blue 52, the Museum Of Broken Relationships) to the deeply personal (Jamison’s journey into step-parenthood and then biological motherhood) to the highly intellectual (essays on photography and a sprawling analysis of James Agee’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men), there are clear themes and style that hold them all together. The ideas of self-consciousness, moral virtue, and how to be a ‘good’ citizen or person in the world/how we fail at this all the time can be found in every essay, as well as what it means to love and be loved, to experience loss, to be curious- really to be human. While I found the Agee essay in particular (the title essay) to be kind of long and a bit boring, it still shines on a craft level, and almost every other essay was a hit for me. I definitely recommend this book!

  • jeremy

    leslie jamison's writing is incisive and insightful, and, at its best, is marked by a sort of epiphanic explication—as if the construction of her resplendent prose is conjoined with the realizations they are simultaneous

    leslie jamison's writing is incisive and insightful, and, at its best, is marked by a sort of epiphanic explication—as if the construction of her resplendent prose is conjoined with the realizations they are simultaneously producing. it's a striking feature, like she is recalling the details of a particular scene in order to convince both herself as the teller and us as the told; the tale unlocking only in its telling.

    the fourteen essays in jamison's new collection,

    , are divided into three sections: longing, looking, and dwelling. as found within her exceptional first collection,

    , jamison is drawn inextricably to the misunderstood, the lonely, the overlooked, the fragile, the forgotten, the quirky, and, above all, the personal. seemingly possessed by an insatiable curiosity (and perhaps a guiding desire to understand, to feel loved, to be seen, to be strong, to be acknowledged, and to fit in herself), jamison's camaraderie to and immersion in her chosen subjects strives toward objectivity, but is all the richer for its subjectivity (and self-awareness). simply put, she cares: about her craft and about the people in her essays; her skeptical benevolence inevitably yielding to a compassionate critique.

  • Biljana

    Leslie Jamison is

    a talented nonfiction writer. This set of essays is categorized around 3 categories, which explore Longing, Looking, and Dwelling. Jamison is at her best when she fuses an exploration of a topic with the personal (e.g., the portrayal of step-motherhood in literature and society and Jamison's own experience with step-motherhood) or explores individuals who might not otherwise be considered (e.g., people who feel a kinship with a special blue whale, those who live part of th

    Leslie Jamison is

    a talented nonfiction writer. This set of essays is categorized around 3 categories, which explore Longing, Looking, and Dwelling. Jamison is at her best when she fuses an exploration of a topic with the personal (e.g., the portrayal of step-motherhood in literature and society and Jamison's own experience with step-motherhood) or explores individuals who might not otherwise be considered (e.g., people who feel a kinship with a special blue whale, those who live part of their lives in Second City, a museum dedicated to broken relationships). Only one of the pieces fell flat for me (one on James Agee's work that gives this collection its name).

    Thanks to the author, Little Brown & Company, and NetGalley for a chance to review this forthcoming work in exchange for a review.

  • 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 curious and empathetic. In 2007, I wrote an article for an obscure music librarian journal about Second Life and she interviewed one of the same avatars for the essay on Second Life in this collection. "52 Blue" is a favorite in this collection, and I really liked "The Real Smoke" which is about Vegas cul

    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 curious and empathetic. In 2007, I wrote an article for an obscure music librarian journal about Second Life and she interviewed one of the same avatars for the essay on Second Life in this collection. "52 Blue" is a favorite in this collection, and I really liked "The Real Smoke" which is about Vegas culture and our unrealistic expectations of relationships.

  • Callum McAllister

    Leslie Jamison is the greatest living American essayist. This is much in the same vein as The Empathy Exams and The Recovering. More personal than the Empathy Exams and feels more together - more so that the essays are pointing towards the same thing. Early on I was hoping that there would be a move from the analytical reportage of the early essays to a more personal tone, which happened and fantastically so. A great collection.

  • Casey Cep

    Holy Moly! James Agee, Reincarnation, the Loneliest Whale in the World, Vegas Casinos, Border Crossings, the Museum of Broken Relationships -- you name it, and Leslie Jamison has wrangled into this incredible new collection of essays. Seriously, what a thrill to see so much new work from such a wonderful writer.

    I'll be interviewing Leslie Jamison on Wednesday, September 25, 2019 at 7PM at Politics & Prose. Please join us for a wonderful conversation:

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