Make it Scream, Make it Burn: Essays of compassion and conviction

Book review: Leslie Jamison covers a wide range of subjects but always with empathy and intelligence

Leslie Jamison:  amplifying voices that aren’t loud enough. Photograph: Beowulf Sheehan

Leslie Jamison: amplifying voices that aren’t loud enough. Photograph: Beowulf Sheehan

In the middle of this triptych of collected work, there’s a substantial essay about Californian photographer Annie Appel. One of Appel’s projects – a sort of visual durational art – has been to photograph the same Mexican family for three decades, through separations, addiction and violence. The images are full of children, poverty and love. Jamison calls this collaborative circling a “process of intimate entanglement”, and while the essay serves her admiration for Appel’s work, it also acts as a metaphor for what Jamison does as an essayist, delving into other people’s experience and reassembling a narrative on the page.

Make It Scream, Make It Burn pulls together pieces published over the last five years, presenting the variety of subjects her gaze has rested on. Jamison consistently gravitates towards the peripheral: landscapes, emotions, people on the outside.

The Irish Times
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