Every Human Love
Distributed for Acre Books
Every Human Love
224 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2019
“Pearson’s stories are meticulously written, with layers that are incrementally and patiently revealed. Her voice nimbly creates a sense of strangeness and detachment without ever lapsing into coldness. . . . At the heart of this collection are questions about how people can survive circumstances that demand hard choices without losing faith in everything in their lives up to that critical juncture.”
"Imaginative and haunting, Every Human Love is a masterful collection of short stories by Joanna Pearson, written with insight and empathy. . . .there’s a strength, a lucidity, and a brilliance that shimmers and enchants."
“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.'"
"Uncertainty is a hallmark of the ‘uncanny’ experience, and one that Joanna Pearson expertly threads through her eerie debut collection, Every Human Love, which strikes every note in the deep minor chord that is good uncanny fiction. . . . She 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."
"How close is the mind to the heart? If therapy and medications treat the disorders of the first, what remains to heal the second? These questions pulse beneath the fourteen stories in Every Human Love. . . . As the backdrop to many of the collection’s stories, psychiatry allows Pearson to explore the fault lines that underlie personal and professional identity in contemporary America. Many of the protagonists are female psychiatry residents working long hours in emergency rooms and outpatient addiction clinics while, as one character puts it, 'real life' is put on pause. In addition to lending the collection a through line of psychiatric vocabulary, Every Human Love’s backdrop emphasizes just how democratic human misery is."
“Generally, in these contemporary stories that often echo fairy tales, people are not content with their lives. . . . Most of Pearson’s characters in these stories display a passivity with benign malevolence threatening to explode and engulf them at any moment. The build-up to that moment, which one never really sees as characters walk out of rooms and readers turn pages, creates the unrelieved tension that drives Pearson’s mysterious, odd tales.”
The Hudson Review