Leslie Jamison quotes

  • Empathy isn’t just listening, it’s asking the questions whose answers need to be listened to. Empathy requires inquiry as much as imagination. Empathy requires knowing you know nothing. Empathy means acknowledging a horizon of context that extends perpetually beyond what you can see.
    -- Leslie Jamison

    #Mean #Knowing #Imagination

  • Empathy isn’t just something that happens to us — a meteor shower of synapses firing across the brain — it’s also a choice we make: to pay attention, to extend ourselves.
    -- Leslie Jamison

    #Choices #Empathy #Brain

  • I'm happy not knowing. Most of the time (except when I'm a neurotic mess about uncertainty) I feel glad that the horizon is a mystery.
    -- Leslie Jamison

    #Knowing #Anxiety #Horizon

  • The global phenomenon of poverty tourism - or 'poorism' - has become increasingly popular during the past few years. Tourists pay to be guided through the favelas of Brazil and the shantytowns of South Africa. The recently opened Los Angeles Gang Tour carries visitors through battle-scarred territories of urban violence and deprivation.
    -- Leslie Jamison

    #Past #Years #Battle

  • The publishing industry, unsurprisingly, is full of different people who love different things and express that love in different languages. Find the people, the editors and agents, with whom you share some language, and some sense of what makes literature worth reading.
    -- Leslie Jamison

    #Reading #Editors #People

  • Though there might not be any easy answers to the problem of poverty, its most compelling scribes do not resign themselves to representation solely for the sake of those age-old verities of truth and beauty.
    -- Leslie Jamison

    #Age #Answers #Might

  • Whenever I've been stuck on a project, it's always brought me solace to the return to books that moved me in the past. It's a nice way to get outside my own head; and it brings me back to one of the most important reasons I write at all: to bring some pleasure to readers, to make them think or feel.
    -- Leslie Jamison

    #Nice #Book #Writing

  • You pass the old L.A. County jail, which is surprisingly beautiful. It's got a handsome stone facade and stately columns. The new L.A. County jail - called The Twin Towers - isn't beautiful at all; it's a stucco panopticon the color of sick flesh.
    -- Leslie Jamison

    #Beautiful #Color #Jail

  • I needed people to deliver my feelings back to me in a form that was legible. Which is a superlative kind of empathy to seek, or to supply: an empathy that rearticulates more clearly what it's shown.
    -- Leslie Jamison

    #People #Empathy #Feelings

  • Commonality doesn't inoculate against hurt.
    -- Leslie Jamison

    #Hurt #Commonality

  • We think we should have to work in order to feel. We want to have our cake resist us; and then we want to eat it, too.
    -- Leslie Jamison

    #Thinking #Order #Cake

  • Imagining someone else's pain with too much surety can be as damaging as failing to imagine it.
    -- Leslie Jamison

    #Pain #Too Much #Failing

  • It's one of the most liberating things I experience in writing - letting yourself get rid of a gesture or character or plot point that always nagged, even if you couldn't admit to yourself that it did.
    -- Leslie Jamison

    #Writing #Character #Plot

  • I've been lucky enough to work with extraordinary teachers along the way, and I'm excited to share what I've learned with graduate students at SNHU. I'm just as excited for what I'll learn from them.
    -- Leslie Jamison

    #Teacher #Lucky #Way

  • Armchair poverty tourism has been around as long as authors have written about class. As an author, I have struggled myself with the nuances of writing about poverty without reducing any community to a catalog of its difficulties.
    -- Leslie Jamison

    #Writing #Class #Long

  • We don't want to be wounds ("No, you're the wound!") but we should be allowed to have them, to speak about having them, to be something more than just another girl who has one. We should be able to do these things without failing the feminism of our mothers, and we should be able to represent women who hurt without walking backward into a voyeuristic rehashing of the old cultural models.
    -- Leslie Jamison

    #Girl #Mother #Hurt

  • Empathy requires knowing that you know nothing.
    -- Leslie Jamison

    #Knowing #Empathy

  • No trauma has discrete edges. Trauma bleeds. Out of wounds and across boundaries.
    -- Leslie Jamison

    #Boundaries #Trauma #Wounds

  • I loved the full heat of being drunk, like I was made of melting chocolate and spreading in all directions.
    -- Leslie Jamison

    #Drunk #Chocolate #Melting

  • When bad things happened to other people, I imagined them happening to me. I didn’t know if this was empathy or theft.
    -- Leslie Jamison

    #People #Empathy #Theft

  • Whatever we can’t hold, we hang on a hook that will hold it.
    -- Leslie Jamison

    #Hook

  • The pain is what you make of it. You have to find something in it that yields. I understood my guiding imperative as: keep bleeding, but find some love in the blood.
    -- Leslie Jamison

    #Pain #Yield #Blood

  • Post-​wounded women know that postures of pain play into limited and outmoded conceptions of womanhood. Their hurt has a new native language spoken in several dialects: sarcastic, jaded, opaque; cool and clever. They guard against those moments when melodrama or self-​pity might split their careful seams of intellect, expose the shame of self-​absorption without self-​awareness.
    -- Leslie Jamison

    #Sarcastic #Hurt #Clever

  • After finishing a draft, no matter how rough, I almost always put it aside for a while. It doesn't matter if it's a story or a novel, I find that when it's still fresh in my mind I'm either thoroughly sick of its flaws or completely blind to them. Either way, I'm unable to make substantive edits of any value.
    -- Leslie Jamison

    #Sick #Mind #Finishing

  • Perhaps if we say it straight, we suspect, if we express our sentiments too excessively or too directly, we'll find we're nothing but banal.
    -- Leslie Jamison

    #Sentiments