Heller McAlpin http://wcbe.org en 'Empathy Exams' Is A Virtuosic Manifesto Of Human Pain http://wcbe.org/post/empathy-exams-virtuosic-manifesto-human-pain A boyfriend once called Leslie Jamison "a wound dweller." This is one of many personal morsels she shares in her virtuosic book of essays, <em>The Empathy Exams,</em> in which she intrepidly probes sore spots to explore how our reactions to both our own pain and that of others define us as human beings. Thu, 03 Apr 2014 11:03:00 +0000 Heller McAlpin 53750 at http://wcbe.org 'Empathy Exams' Is A Virtuosic Manifesto Of Human Pain In 'Sprinkler,' A Wacky Poet Returns With New Obsessions http://wcbe.org/post/sprinkler-wacky-poet-returns-new-obsessions Nicholson Baker has become a sort of poet of the particular and the peculiar. His books are filled with people who focus minutely on what captivates them – in other words, obsessives. A positive way of looking at obsession is as passion taken to an extreme. Tue, 17 Sep 2013 14:06:00 +0000 Heller McAlpin 43260 at http://wcbe.org In 'Sprinkler,' A Wacky Poet Returns With New Obsessions How Christopher Hitchens Faced His Own 'Mortality' http://wcbe.org/post/how-christopher-hitchens-faced-his-own-mortality When a consummately articulate, boundlessly bold journalist stricken with stage 4 esophageal cancer reports from the front lines about facing what he calls, among other things, "hello darkness my old friend," you sit up and pay attention. Mortality, by virtue of its ultimate unavoidability, raises questions about the very meaning of life, making it as challenging a subject as any tackled by Christopher Hitchens in his brilliant career. It is, in fact, one of <em>the</em> subjects, right up there with love, and you can count on Hitchens to eschew weak-kneed sentimentality. Fri, 07 Sep 2012 14:33:04 +0000 Heller McAlpin 22296 at http://wcbe.org How Christopher Hitchens Faced His Own 'Mortality'