Michael Pearson

Michael Pearson is the author of a novel and seven nonfiction books. For many years he directed the graduate program in Creative Writing at Old Dominion University where he taught courses in narrative nonfiction, the American novel, and modern Irish literature. His numerous articles, stories, and essays have appeared in publications such as The New York Times, The Atlanta Journal, The Washington Post, The Literary ReviewThe Morning News, the Southern Literary Journal, and many others. His new nonfiction book, The Road to Dungannon: Journeys in Literary Ireland, was published by McFarland and Company in 2023.  

Book Reviews by Michael Pearson

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“singular Paul Lynch, the prophet raging at the wickedness and sorrow in the world, warning us that the road to redemption travels through compassion and love, but it surely is not an easy

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“If she had not chased those bright Medusas, 20th century American literature would have not had one of its most beautiful voices.”

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“For Larry McMurtry, invention and re-invention were one and the same.”

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Rory Carroll, a Dublin-based foreign correspondent for the Guardian, has written a nonfiction book that is as adrenaline-fueled and heart-stopping as any piece of fiction one can imagine f

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Readers and critics alike know that Paul Murray is a natural storyteller.

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“McPhee is a writer with a generous heart and sharp self-deprecatory sense of humor. Tabula Rasa is no blank slate.

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The Dream Street Pittsburgh Photography Project consumed W. Eugene Smith’s life for three years, from 1955–1958.

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Thirteen may be an unlucky number for some, but not for readers of T. C. Boyle’s dazzling new collection of stories, 13 funny, mind-bending, and disturbing tales.

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“It is a love letter to all that is wild in the world, a rejection of prejudice and hatred, a suggestion that goodness can be imagined and made real.”

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David Grann, New Yorker staff writer and bestselling author of The Lost City of Z  and The Devil and Sherlock Holmes, offers what amounts to three page-turning narratives

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If the place of art is to ask difficult questions, not to provide easy answers, then Monsters: A Fan’s Dilemma is art, as much as it is about art.

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“Patrick Radden Keefe’s collection Rogues is a tantalizing dirty dozen—enlightening, entertaining, and thought provoking.”

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In this utterly fascinating and ultimately disturbing book about modern Ireland, Fintan O’Toole, the Irish Times journalist, is at his best as a reporter and commentator.

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“This is a book to savor, to read slowly, to observe carefully, a book ideal for the insomniac . . .”

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Louise Nealon has been, fairly and unfairly, compared to Sally Rooney, and with her first novel, Snowflake, she seems poised for prizes and movie adaptations.

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“the kind of poetry that can make a reader wince with delight.”

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With his fourth novel, Wiley Cash demonstrates once again a breadth of compassion, an awareness of the intricacies of most of his character, and a willingness to end a story on an unexpected note.

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“Sally Rooney doesn’t repeat herself. Rather, she is a pentimento artist, building a familiar world in a way that makes it feel boldly new.”

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in Philip Roth: The Biography, Blake Bailey provides ample evidence of his understanding of modern American literature and the frailties and achievements of an ar

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As with her four brilliant novels, Rachel Kushner’s The Hard Crowd, 19 essays from the last two decades, takes the reader on a wild ride.

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“a compelling and rewarding journey.”

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The literary rumor mill portrays Naoise Dolan as the new Sally Rooney, and that suggestion alone might push a writer onto the bestseller list these days.

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“Rob Doyle’s writing leaves us with—'the sense, euphoric and terrifying, that everything was possible again.’”

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Some of the most important fiction in the opening decades of the 21st century has come from Ireland, and Paul Lynch is one of the leading lights of this postmodern Irish Renaissance.

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We are all actors in the comedy and drama of our own lives, caught in a story inherited from family, redrawn by fate, and reconstructed by us as we look dizzily backward.