If sadness once struck me as terminally hip, then I’ve arrived on the far side of 35 with a deepening appreciation for the ways pleasure and satisfaction can become structuring forces of identity as well.
A memoir of giving birth after years with an eating disorder.
Big lies, small lies, lies of omission. Leslie Jamison fesses up to how lying had become a way to avoid conflict, her flaws, and having to face up to and deal with her uglier emotions.
In this excerpt from her book, The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath, Leslie Jamison recalls how in the early days of recovery, she examined the work of newly-sober writers like John Berryman and Charles Jackson for clues about how sobriety would affect her as a writer. It wasn’t until she read David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest that she found “proof that sober creativity was possible.”
Essayist Leslie Jamison visits the Breakup Museum in Zagreb, Croatia — created in 2003 after founders Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić ended their relationship — and considers what stories are told by the objects we shared with former loved ones.
An essay examining women’s long-standing conditioning away from owning and expressing anger, instead often sublimating their rage in sadness, which has historically been more acceptable.
Leslie Jamison profiles several long-term, hard-core users of Second Life, an online platform in which you create a fantasy alter-ego. Your “selective self” resides in a virtual world that allows you to leave behind everything you don’t like about yourself and your real life.
Leslie Jamison is stepmother to Lily, age 6. Lily’s mother died of cancer just before Lily turned three. Jamison explores fairy tale stepmothers both as the rare “port in the storm” and the much more common “stock villain” — stereotyped by cruelty, abuse, and withholding affection — as she reflects on her relationship with Lily and on navigating the fraught role of stand-in parent.
Leslie Jamison’s speech on writing about personal experiences. “If you honor the complexity of your own life—if you grant us entry into moments that hold shame or hurt or heat, and if you’re willing to follow that heat, to feel out where all the small fires burn, then your readers will trust you.”