DONALD RAY POLLOCK, recipient of the 2009 PEN/Robert Bingham Fellowship, made his literary debut in 2008 with the critically acclaimed short story collection "Knockemstiff." He worked as a laborer at the Mead Paper Mill in Chillicothe, Ohio, from 1973 to 2005.
"The Devil All The Time "is one of GQ's Books of the Year: "Flannery O'Connor's brutal "Wise Blood" looks like "Sense and Sensibility" next to this finely woven, throat-stomping Appalachian crime story." Praise for "The Devil All the Time" "Pollock's first novel, "The Devil All the Time," should cement his reputation as a significant voice in American fiction. ...[He] deftly shifts from one perspective to another, without any clunky transitions--the prose just moves without signal or stumble, opening up the story in new ways again and again...where any prime-time television show can incite nail-biting with a lurking killer, Pollock has done much more. He's layered decades of history, shown the inner thoughts of a collage of characters, and we understand how deeply violence and misfortune have settled into the bones of this place. The question is much more than whether someone will die--it is, can the cycle of bloodletting break? This applies both to the people Pollock so skillfully enlivens as it does to the place he's taken as his literary heritage."--Carolyn Kellogg, "Los Angeles Times" ""The Devil All the Time..."fulfills the promise in [Pollock's] 2008 short-story collection, "Knockemstiff," named after his real-life hometown, where life as is tough as its name suggests. His fictional characters find ways to make it tougher. "Devil," as violent as the bloodiest parts of the Old Testament...invites comparisons to Flannery O'Connor and Raymond Carver, who mined the grace and guilt in the hopeless lives of lost souls....But it's not so much "what" happens as "how"Pollock, with the brutal beauty of spare writing, brings it all together."--Bob Minzesheimer, "USA Today" "If Pollock's powerful collection "Knockemstiff" was a punch to the jaw, his follow-up, a novel set in the violent soul-numbing towns of southern Ohio and West Virginia, feels closer to a mule's kick, and how he draws these folks and their inevitabl