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Now You Know It All (Pitt Drue Heinz Lit Prize)

Joanna Pearson


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Winner of the Drue Heinz for Literature. Poised on the precipice of mystery and longing, each character in Now You Know It All is on the brink of discovery—and decision. Set in small-town North Carolina, or featuring eager Southerners venturing afar, these stories capture that crucial moment when someone’s path changes irrevocably.

Praise For Now You Know It All (Pitt Drue Heinz Lit Prize)

“Joanna Pearson’s Now You Know It offers a splendid array of stories that reminded me page after page of old-fashioned stories when writers built their pieces brick by brick and built them to last. Pearson is not after the quick two-page, soulless anecdote glancing. [With a] Southern flavor, Now You Know It is about the souls and hearts of the characters and how so very much of living got them to a point where nothing can be the same again. Chekhov and Gaines and Welty did not produce cartoon people and Pearson certainly follows their examples with her eleven story collection.” —Edward P. Jones, Drue Heinz guest judge and New York Times bestselling author

“Joanna Pearson’s blazingly insightful stories veer in and out of the uncanny to imagine women at turning points—a small-town college student on her first internship, a mother recovering from postpartum psychosis, a waitress fleeing Epstein-like abuse—to speak to the dangers and unease of our time. More powerfully, they uncover the perils always lurking in the “trick brain,” as one character puts it, the part of the self drawn to life’s darkest places. A collection you won’t soon forget.” —Belle Boggs, author of The Gulf: A Novel

University of Pittsburgh Press, 9780822946991, 238pp.

Publication Date: October 5, 2021

About the Author

Joanna Pearson is a lapsed poet who once wrote a young adult novel on a whim but nowadays mostly writes short fiction. Her first collection of stories, Every Human Love (Acre Books, 2019) was a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Awards, the Foreword Indies Awards, and the Janet Heidinger Prize for Fiction. Her stories have appeared in Best Small Fictions, Best of the Net, Colorado Review, Crazyhorse, Ecotone, Kenyon Review Online, The Sewanee Review, Subtropics, as well as other journals, and have been listed as notable in Best American Short Stories 2020, 2019, 2018, and 2015. She holds an MFA in poetry from the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars and an MD from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. A native of Western North Carolina, she now lives with her husband and two daughters near Chapel Hill, where she works as a psychiatrist.