Leslie Jamison was born in Washington DC and grew up in Los Angeles. Since then, she's lived in Iowa, Nicaragua, New Haven, and New York. She's worked as a baker, an office temp, an innkeeper, a tutor, and a medical actor. Every one of these was a world; they're still in her.
Jamison has written a novel, The Gin Closet, and a collection of essays, The Empathy Exams. Her work has appeared or will appear in places like Harper's, Oxford American, A Public Space, Virginia Quarterly Review, and The Believer. She's a columnist for the New York Times Book Review, and is currently finishing a doctoral dissertation at Yale about addiction narratives. She lives in Brooklyn, above a smoke shop.