A Personal History of the C-Section

“When my daughter’s delivery went off the script I had imagined, it made me wonder about what we ask from our birth stories.”

Published: Jul 21, 2021
Length: 18 minutes (4,623 words)

The Past Year Has Taught Me a Lot About Nostalgia

“Yearning for the Before Times as a mythic era risks obscuring the ways in which the Before was really many different kinds of before. Longing for freedom and safety risks forgetting that neither mobility nor vulnerability has ever been democratically distributed.”

Published: Mar 11, 2021
Length: 9 minutes (2,412 words)

COVID Has Caused Millions to Lose their Sense of Smell—One Writer’s Journey to a Scentless Life and Back

“Every smell scientist I spoke to for this story echoed some version of this sentiment: that smell is under­appreciated and misunderstood, and most people fail to recognize how integral it is to our experience of pleasure, our emotional lives, and even, on a fundamental level, our identity.”

Source: Vogue
Published: Oct 21, 2020
Length: 15 minutes (3,874 words)

Other Voices, Other Rooms

Leslie Jamison reviews “Private Lives Public Spaces,” an exhibition of home movies and photography at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art. What makes the exhibit fascinating is the thread of desire that runs through it — that keen human need to document our present as it all-too-quickly turns into our past.

Published: Apr 23, 2020
Length: 19 minutes (4,922 words)

Since I Became Symptomatic

A month after filing for divorce, single mom Leslie Jamison contracted COVID-19. She wrote this meditation on single parenthood, loneliness, longing, and frustration while sheltering in place — and sweating out the virus — with her 2-year-old daughter.

Published: Mar 26, 2020
Length: 6 minutes (1,500 words)

Cult of the Literary Sad Woman

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.

Published: Nov 7, 2019
Length: 10 minutes (2,500 words)

The Quickening

A memoir of giving birth after years with an eating disorder.

Source: The Atlantic
Published: Aug 21, 2019
Length: 22 minutes (5,711 words)

Leslie Jamison On The Lies She’s Told

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.

Source: BuzzFeed
Published: Apr 3, 2018
Length: 7 minutes (1,989 words)

Does Recovery Kill Great Writing?

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.”

Published: Mar 13, 2018
Length: 24 minutes (6,187 words)

The Breakup Museum: Archiving the Way We Were

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.

Published: Feb 14, 2018
Length: 27 minutes (6,793 words)