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Leslie Jamison’s 10 favorite books of the decade

As part of The A.V. Club’s best of the 2010s coverage, we asked some of our favorite authors to share their 10 favorite books of the decade. First up: Leslie Jamison. Jamison has managed to fit what could be an entire lifetime’s worth of writing into the past 10 years. She published her debut novel, The Gin Closet, in 2010, followed four years later by her breakout essay collection, The Empathy Exams, which won publisher Graywolf’s Nonfiction Prize and would go on to become a bestseller. It is a thoughtful, compassionate book about how we do (or do not) regard the pain of others. Last year’s The Recovering stretched the bounds of the addiction memoir to not only tell the story of Jamison’s alcoholism but to also consider how writing and drinking are portrayed in literature. In September of this year, she published her second collection, Make It Scream, Make It Burn, whose subjects—including Second Life, reincarnation, and the world’s loneliest whale—she treats with just as much sensitivity. We’d understand if Jamison wanted to take a break in the 2020s, but we hope she won’t (and don’t think she will). In her own words, here are Leslie’s 10 favorite books of the decade.

Witch Wife by Kiki Petrosino (2017, Sarabande)

These are poems about the things that compose us—our names, our flesh, our vexed relationships to both—and about feral ambivalence turned glittering, about the question of what the body can and

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