Every Human Love

Books distributed by the Chicago Distribution Center

224 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2019

ISBN (pbk): 978-1-946724-18-2

ISBN (ebook): 978-1-946724-19-9

Published May 2019

Every Human Love


Joanna Pearson

The fourteen stories in Every Human Love redefine our sense of reality. Set seemingly in the quotidian, these tales veer into the unexpected, the uncomfortable, occasionally the eerie, thrusting characters in crisis into still greater quandaries, where the world of weddings and work, of frustrated hopes and mundane dissatisfactions, collides with a realm of legend, of fairy tale, of nightmare.

In “Changeling,” a helpless newborn is placed in the hands of a perfect stranger; in “Lucky,” a doctor who was the victim of a mugging encounters her attacker again, in the ER; and in “Fox Foot,” a hitchhiker reveals to a disillusioned bridesmaid the secrets of a mysterious cabal.

Caught at the crossroads of medicine and myth, parenthood and paranoia, ethical obligation and the unruly impulse, the protagonists who populate this collection are forced to question their decisions, their natures, and to wonder what is real and what imagined.

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About the Author

Joanna Pearson is the author of the short story collection Now You Know It All (UPitt Press 2021), chosen by Edward P. Jones for the 2021 Drue Heinz Literature Prize. Her debut novel, Bright and Tender Dark, is forthcoming with Bloomsbury in June 2024. Her short stories have appeared in The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Mystery and Suspense, The Best Small Fictions, as well as other publications. She lives with her husband and two daughters in North Carolina. 

Joanna Pearson

Photo Credit: Danell Beede

Praise for Every Human Love

2019 Foreword INDIES Finalist in Short Fiction

2019 Shirley Jackson Awards Finalist

2019 Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize Finalist

“Imaginative and haunting, Every Human Love is a masterful collection, written with insight and empathy. . . . Pearson’s writing is spare and sparkling.”
Foreword Reviews (starred)

“Intriguing and satisfying.”
Kirkus Reviews

“[Pearson] has succeeded in knitting a dreamlike world in which the settings and characters are realistic, but the possibilities are endless, making the tight control of her narrative structure both necessary and utterly enjoyable.”
Nick Fuller Googins, CRAFT

Every Human Love is breathlessly stunning, in the sense that it is beautiful writing, but also in that it is profoundly unsettling. The fourteen stories in collection demand rests between one and the next in order to absorb the various uncanny landscapes: raw urban cities, the alleys of clinics and hospitals, Gothic southern farms and highways, “the woods” and the things hiding in them, and delirious “post-partum fever dream-ghost stories.”
Lauren A. Mitchell, Synapsis

“Despite the focus on psychiatry, Pearson’s language is anything but clinically austere. Some of her most powerful writing is about mothers and the primal fear that can make all rational thought (and professional advice) disappear in an instant.”
John Steen, INDY Week

“Pearson’s stories are dark, efficient, and often funny. . . I’m always grateful for literature that prods the viscera, that lingers.”

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