With a virtuosic blend of memoir, criticism, and journalism, Leslie Jamison's 14 essays here explore the depths of longing and the nature of obsession. Among Jamison's subjects are 52 Blue, deemed "the loneliest whale in the world"; the eerie past-life memories of children; the devoted citizens of an online world called Second Life; the haunted landscape of the Sri Lankan Civil War; and an entire museum dedicated to the relics of broken relationships. Adding more personal reflections, Jamison follows these examinations with essays about eloping in Las Vegas, becoming a stepmother, and giving birth.
"Sharply analytic and deeply personal…. A heady hybrid of journalism, memoir, and criticism…. This is a writer who is incapable of being uninteresting."—NPR