Skip to Main Content

Glad News of the Natural World

A Novel

Twenty years ago, a first novel appeared and instantly announced the arrival of a master storyteller. T. R. Pearson's A Short History of a Small Place was hailed as "an absolute stunner" (Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post) and its hero, young Louis Benfield, was dubbed "a youth not as wry as Holden Caulfield, but certainly as observant, and with a bigger, even sadder heart" (Fran Schumer, The New York Times).

Now, older but not necessarily wiser, Louis Benfield returns in Glad News of the Natural World. In order to get a sense of the larger world, he has moved to New York City from his hometown of Neely, North Carolina. Louis is a modern-day Candide, looking for love and experience in all the wrong places. However, when tragedy strikes, he finds the maturity to be more than man enough for the job.

Whether catching up with Louis Benfield and the denizens of Neely or meeting them for the first time, readers will find Glad News of the Natural World hilarious and heartbreaking, warm and wise.

Photo Credit:

T. R. Pearson's widely acclaimed novels include A Short History of a Small Place, Cry Me a River, Off for the Sweet Hereafter, Blue Ridge, and Polar. He lives in Virginia and Brooklyn, New York.

"[A] magic carpet of a novel with a wonderfully disorienting charm." -- Scott Morris, The Wall Street Journal

"I can think of no other contemporary writer who offers such surprises -- it is impossible to predict even how a sentence will end. . . . Pearson is surely among the greatest living Southern writers." -- Haven Kimmel, author of Something Rising (Light and Swift)

"If Garrison Keillor and William Faulkner were joined in holy literary matrimony, with high priestesses Eudora Welty and Jane Austen waving an occasional wand over the process, their collective tale-spinning offspring might well bear a resemblance to Southern writer T. R. Pearson." -- Michael Upchurch, The Seattle Times

"Louis makes a wonderful narrator of Glad News, mainly because he accepts just about everyone with humane resignation and understanding. He's the epitome of empathic tolerance. Louis eventually faces a situation that forces him to take charge of his life. And he does so with the humanity and wise humor that you'd expect from a lovable loser." -- Charles Ealy, The Dallas Morning News