Donald Ray Pollock

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Donald Ray Pollock is an American writer. Born in 1954 and raised in Knockemstiff, Ohio, Pollock has lived his entire adult life in Chillicothe, Ohio, where he worked at the Mead Paper Mill as a laborer and truck driver until age 50, when he enrolled in the English program at Ohio State University.[1] While there, Doubleday published his debut short story collection, Knockemstiff,[2] and the New York Times regularly posted his election dispatches from southern Ohio throughout the 2008 campaign. The Devil All the Time, his first novel, was published in 2011. His work has appeared in various literary journals, including Epoch, Sou'wester, Granta, Third Coast, River Styx, The Journal, Boulevard, Tin House, and PEN America.


Pollock's first novel, The Devil All the Time, received very positive reviews. Vick Mickunas of The Washington Independent Review of Books discussed the novel, writing "... there’s an otherness to Pollock’s characters that this reviewer finds strangely compelling. We might not be able to relate to the violence, but we comprehend the humanity — the flaws, the deceits, the crushed dreams, the hope that rises like a delicate flower from ashes."[3] The New York Times, on the other hand, discussed the violence presented in the novel, but speaks highly of the prose.[4]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • 2009 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, Knockemstiff, winner
  • 2009 Devil's Kitchen Award in Prose (English Department of Southern Illinois University Carbondale), Knockemstiff
  • 2012 Publishers Weekly Top Ten Books of the Year, The Devil All The Time
  • 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship
  • 2012 Thomas and Lillie D. Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing (for The Devil All the Time)
  • 2012 Grand Prix de Litterature Policiere (French award for The Devil All the Time)
  • 2013 Third Place International Category Deutscher Krimi Preis (German award for The Devil All the Time')
  • 2013 First Place Prix Mystere de la Critique (for The Devil All the Time) (France)


  • Knockemstiff, 2008
  • The Devil All The Time, 2011 (Voted Best Book of 2012 in France by LIRE and the French Rolling Stone and Best Book of 2014 in the Netherlands by the Dutch newspaper Het Parool)


  1. ^ Peck, Claude. (July 22, 2011). "Donald Ray Pollock: Grim stories, beautifully told", Star Tribune. Retrieved October 13, 2013.
  2. ^ Sicha, Choire (6 April 2008). "Donald Ray Pollock's underdog story". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-05-20. 
  3. ^ Mickunas, Vick. "The Devil All the Time review". Book review. The Washington Independent Review of Books. Retrieved Aug 3, 2011. 
  4. ^ Ritter, Josh. (August 12, 2011). "A Good Man Is Impossible to Find", The New York Times". Retrieved October 13, 2013.