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Allison Pearson (née Judith Allison Lobbett, born 1960) is a Welsh author and newspaper columnist. Her novel I Don't Know How She Does It, published in 2002, has sold four million copies and has been made into a movie of the same name starring Sarah Jessica Parker. I Think I Love You, her second novel, was published in 2010.
Born in Carmarthen, Wales, Pearson moved to Burry Port, Carmarthenshire. She attended Market Harborough Upper School (now Robert Smyth School), then Lincoln Christ's Hospital School, both comprehensive schools. She studied English at Clare College, Cambridge, then taught at an inner London school. She also sold advertising.
Prior to taking over from Lynda Lee-Potter at the Daily Mail, Pearson was a columnist with London's Evening Standard and The Daily Telegraph. She began her career with The Financial Times, where she was a sub-editor, before moving to The Independent and then The Independent on Sunday in 1992. There she was assistant to Blake Morrison before becoming a TV critic, winning the award for Critic of the Year at the British Press Awards in 1993.
Pearson is the author of a novel, I Don't Know How She Does It (2002), a "chick lit" examination of the pressures of modern motherhood. The book was a bestseller in the UK and the US, selling four million copies, and is being made into a film. She has since written I Think I Love You (2010), a novel about a teenager's passion for David Cassidy in the 1970s, and the man who is responsible for writing the so-called replies from David Cassidy to the teenage fans, two characters who later meet up again 20 years after experiencing marriage, divorce, and children. The latter book has received good reviews for its warmth and sincerity.
In May 2008, she angered Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, by suggesting her daughter Princess Beatrice was overweight. There appeared to be public support for the princess, with some commenting unfavourably on Pearson's physical appearance. The Duchess called Pearson for a meeting with herself and her daughter, but Pearson ignored them. On the TV programme This Morning the Duchess attacked the absent columnist.
Pearson was sued by Miramax for non-delivery of a second novel, I Think I Love You, for which she received a US$700,000 advance in 2003. Delivery was due in 2005. In her column of 17 February 2010, she claims to have finished the novel though does not comment on whether legal proceedings for non-delivery have been dropped. The novel I Think I Love You has since been published.
In March 2012, Pearson wrote a controversial piece for The Daily Telegraph criticizing Tony Nicklinson, a tetraplegic who (as of 2012) was challenging the UK legal system on an individual's "right to die". Nicklinson died on 22 August 2012, days after a ruling that rejected his call to change the law in the UK on assisted dying. American stand-up comedian Doug Stanhope shared the story on 15 March 2012 via Twitter, incorporating the word "cunt" due to his extreme dislike of the distasteful nature of the article. A heated exchange ensued between Pearson and Stanhope and their followers, with Stanhope tweeting "I just went Christian just to pray you get a fetid ovarian cyst." Some critics have pointed to a previous article written by Pearson on a similar story while at the Daily Mail, which seems to take the opposite point of view to her article in The Daily Telegraph, as evidence of double standards.
Pearson was married to fellow journalist Simon Pearson, whom she married in May 1988 in Lincoln. She now lives with Anthony Lane, film critic for The New Yorker. They have a son, Thomas (born August 1999), and a daughter, Eveline (born January 1996). They have lived in Cambridge since 2003. Pearson ended her column for the Daily Mail in April 2010, amid reports that she is to join The Daily Telegraph, with a column on her experiences of depression. Pearson is set to reprise her role as a columnist with The Daily Telegraph from September 2010.
- I Don't Know How She Does It (2002) ISBN 0-7011-7302-5
- I Think I Love You (2010) ISBN 0-7011-7697-0 and ISBN 978-0-7011-7697-6
- Private Eye. 27 May 2008.
- Rachel Mainwaring (11 March 2011). "Teenage crush inspires new novel on David Cassidy". WalesOnline. Media Wales Ltd. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
- "Hollywood stardom for novel by Clare alumna". Alumni. Clare College. 26 January 2011. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
-  the Telegraph, 21 June 2010. Retrieved on 26 August 2010.
- "Pearson hits back at Duchess of York", Guardian, 21 May 2008. Retrieved on 22 May.
-  Reuters, 11 August 2008. Retrieved on 12 August 2008.
-  Daily Mail, 17 February 2010. Retrieved on 17 August 2010.
-  The Daily Telegraph, 21 June 2010. Retrieved on 26 August 2010.
-  The Daily Telegraph, 14 March 2012
-  BBC News, 22 August 2012
-  BBC News, 16 August 2012
-  Doug Stanhope's Twitter feed, 15 March 2012. Retrieved on 16 May 2012.
-  Doug Stanhope, 7 April 2012. Retrieved on 16 May 2012.
-  The Daily Mail, 29 January 2010. Retrieved on 16 May 2010.
- "A writer's life: Anthony Lane", London Daily Telegraph, 14 December 2003. Retrieved on 3 July.
- Roy Greenslade "Telegraph woos Oborne and Pearson to quit the Daily Mail", The Guardian (Greenslade blog), 19 April 2010
- Allison Pearson "Depression's the curse of my generation and I'm struggling in its grasp", Daily Mail, 28 April 2010
- Eleanor Black, Women on the verge, p. 32, Next, (September 2010)