Leslie Jamison is an extraordinarily gifted writer whose work explores the strengths and limits of our shared humanity. Her writing has been called at once “profound” and ”intellectual” and then “poetic” and “philosophical.” She’s often compared to Joan Didion and Susan Sontag, the inheritor of a great American literary tradition.
Her most recent book, a collection of essays called The Empathy Exams, won the 2012 Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize and was named one of the best books of the year by NPR, The New York Times and Publishers Weekly. The Huffington Post declared that Leslie “seems poised for greatness; don’t miss out.” The Gin Closet, Leslie’s first book was one of The San Francisco Chronicle’s best books of the year. Leslie’s articles, essays and fiction have appeared in many publications including Harper’s, The Believer and The New York Times.
A graduate of Harvard College and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Leslie also recently graduated with her PhD from Yale University. She is an assistant professor at Columbia University and also mentors through the PEN Prison Writing Program. She has worked—for various stints, in various points—as a baker, an office temp, a barista, a medical actor and an innkeeper. Leslie’s aunt is the renowned psychologist Kay Redfield Jamison and her husband is the bestselling novelist Charles Bock.