The desire to be seen

The writer Leslie Jamison receives notes from strangers responding to her book, The Empathy Exams

‘ As I got more notes from strangers, I started to wonder what desires motivated them. What do readers want from the writers they read? What sorts of responses do they imagine? Sometimes a reader offers his own life; sometimes he only offers praise. Every offering suggests itself as a mixture of gift and request – a desire to show the author what her words have meant, and a desire to be seen: “Let me know I’m visible to you, as you’ve been visible to me.” ‘

Leslie Jamison:Confessional writing is not self-indulgent, The Guardian 5 July 2014

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