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3. Leslie Jamison, The Empathy Exams

"In January, right after the presidential inauguration, I reread Audre Lorde's Sister Outsider, a collection of essays and speeches written and delivered by her between 1976 and 1984. To call Sister Outsider a book about feminism is like calling Walden a book about a pond. Yes, it's a book about feminism, but it's also about what it means to speak and what it means to listen. It's about self-awareness as a form of political awareness. When I wonder how to be an American right now, and whether it matters to do the things that can feel insignificant—knock on doors, show up for marches, send organizing emails—I remind myself of what Lorde said about revolution: 'It means doing the unromantic and tedious work.'"