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Patricia Pearson

Novelist, journalist

Patricia Pearson is a novelist and journalist who has won three National Magazine Awards, a National Author’s Award, and the Arthur Ellis Award for best non-fiction crime book of 1998. Her five books have been published in several countries including Indonesia, and she regrets that she was never able to ascertain what the Indonesians thought of her writing. She keeps meaning to find this out, but then it slides down the typically crisis-driven To Do list of a working mother.

She was a 2003 finalist for the Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour for her best-selling comic novel, Playing House, which was later adapted for television. This has little to do with the fact that Pearson’s serious commentary appears regularly on matters ranging from mental health to murder, in media ranging from the New York Times to NPR. Nor that she recently oversaw the research for a History Channel documentary on “The Science of the Soul,” and is currently working on screenplays.

Patricia Pearson apologizes for being eclectic.

A friend recently gave Patricia Pearson a fridge magnet that says “I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize that I should have been more specific.”

Pearson’s writing has been anthologized in a confusing array of publications, from the Penguin Anthology of Canadian Humour, to the feminist essay collection Dropped Threads: Beyond the Small Circle, to the American textbook Failures of Criminal Investigation.

Camille Paglia once called her a “stupid bitch.” According to witnesses, Pearson was chewing gum and wearing a glamourous hat, which may inadvertently have come across as impudent.

Liam Neeson once bought Patricia Pearson a drink, to thank her for vacating the last available table in a bar.

Justin Trudeau talked to her at a party, but she was drunk and cannot remember what he said.

She met the Queen when she was little, because her grandfather was former Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson (that’s him on the left with JFK). Her grandmother Maryon fondly quoted Dorothy Parker’s quip, “behind every successful man stands a surprised woman,” to which her granddaughter now adds: “behind every successful woman stands a man who is knee-deep in dishes.”

Patricia is represented by the Canadian Writers Group in Toronto, and by Sarah Lazin Books in New York.

You can contact Patricia at