Welcome to the Empathy Library search page. Use keywords to search for books and films, or browse the collection using filters (e.g. under Book Type select 'fiction' or under Theme choose 'love' or 'poverty'). Results are automatically ranked by popularity. Join the library to add items, comment and give ratings.
Graphic novels often have a way of getting across human pain and loneliness that can’t be replicated in quite the same way without visual accompaniment.
‘When I think of autumn, I think of someone with hands who did not want me to die.’ Tenderness is in short supply in nine-year-old Claudia’s life, but as she lies ill in bed with her mother taking care of her, she is in no doubt that she is loved.
With touching detail, Shaun Tan's picture book tells the story of a migrant family, seeking refuge and asylum in a strange new city. By depicting this new city as an alienating, science-fiction world, Tan performs a neat trick on our empathy glands.
'Wide Sargasso Sea' is rightly considered by many to be one of the greatest pieces of writing of this or any time, so I naturally approach reviewing it with some trepidation. But it has to be in The Empathy Library, so here goes ...
Does it make sense to “review” great poetry? The following is from Milosz’s Campo dei Fiori:
“In Rome, on Campo dei Fiori,
baskets of olives and lemons
cobbles spattered with wine
and the wreckage of flowers.
A story about dictatorship, in this case one which occurs within the family, and a young boy so entirely in the power of his father that he cannot speak the truth.
In which an elderly woman, a music teacher, invites her unwilling students to give a musical recital at her home.
Kundera is often accused of misogyny, and this may be true of his (or his characters’) sexual fantasies. But when I first read this as teenager I was primarily moved by his female characters. In particular, he conveys the profound human sadness caused by infidelity and betrayal.
What exactly does it mean to be human? Andrew Martin, a Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge, is not himself. This becomes clear when he’s found walking naked through the manicured grounds of his own college, apparently having suffered amnesia or nervous breakdown brought on by overwork.
Even the Dogs opens with the image of a man’s body being carried out of a broken-down house in the quiet days between Christmas and the New Year- but who’s the semi-homeless man, Robert, and who’s telling his story?