Allison Pearson (née Judith Allison Lobbett;[1] born 22 July 1960) is a Welsh author and newspaper columnist. Her novel I Don't Know How She Does It, published in 2002, 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.[2] A sequel to I Don't Know How She Does It was announced in 2015.[3]

Early life

Born in Carmarthen, Wales, Pearson moved to Burry Port, Carmarthenshire.[2] 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,[4] then taught at an inner London school. She also sold advertising.


Journalism and broadcasting

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 has presented Channel 4's J'Accuse; BBC Radio 4's The Copysnatchers and participated as a panellist on Late Review, the predecessor of Newsnight Review.

In May 2008, Pearson upset Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, by suggesting her daughter Princess Beatrice was overweight. 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.[5]

Pearson ended her column for the Daily Mail in April 2010, when it was said that she was to join The Daily Telegraph,[6] with a column on her experiences of depression.[7] In September 2010, Pearson resumed her role as a columnist with The Daily Telegraph.[8] As of 2015, Pearson was a columnist and chief interviewer of The Daily Telegraph.[9]

Pearson was criticised for a tweet sent less than an hour after the first of the 22 March 2016 Belgian bombings in which she linked them with the case for leaving the European Union, a position she had supported in a column.[10][11][12]

Following the May 2017 Manchester Arena bombing at the end of a concert, Pearson called for the introduction of internment.[13]


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 was made into a film.[2] 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.[14] The novel I Think I Love You has since been published.[15]

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 twenty years after experiencing marriage, divorce, and children. The Telegraph praised the novel for its warmth and sincerity;[16] The Guardian declared it an "unrealistic and sappy romance".[17]

A sequel to I Don't Know How She Does It was announced in 2015 and published in September 2017. The novel, How Hard Can It Be,[18] continues the story of the protagonist Kate Reddy, now approaching 50 and struggling with bias against older women in the workplace. The book, which attracted considerable publicity but failed to reach bestseller status, is published by Borough Press in the U.K. It will be published by St. Martin’s Press in the U.S., with a release date of June 2018.[3]

Personal life

Pearson was married to fellow journalist Simon Pearson,[1] in May 1988 in Lincoln. She subsequently lived with Anthony Lane,[19] film critic for The New Yorker. Lane separated from Pearson in September 2017. The two never married, but have a son, (born August 1999), and a daughter, (born 25 January 1996).

Pearson was declared bankrupt on 9 November 2015, following a personal insolvency order made by the High Court of Justice in London on 9 November 2015. The bankruptcy petitioner was the Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs, implying that the case involves unpaid taxes.[20][21]


Allison Pearson talks about I Think I Love You on Bookbits radio.


  1. ^ a b "none". Private Eye. 27 May 2008. 
  2. ^ a b c Rachel Mainwaring (11 March 2011). "Teenage crush inspires new novel on David Cassidy". WalesOnline. Media Wales Ltd. Retrieved 7 July 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Alison Flood, Allison Pearson revisits bestselling heroine in middle age, The Guardian, 8 April 2015.
  4. ^ "Hollywood stardom for novel by Clare alumna". Alumni. Clare College. 26 January 2011. Retrieved 7 July 2011. 
  5. ^ "Pearson hits back at Duchess of York", Guardian, 21 May 2008. Retrieved on 22 May.
  6. ^ Roy Greenslade "Telegraph woos Oborne and Pearson to quit the Daily Mail", The Guardian (Greenslade blog), 19 April 2010
  7. ^ Allison Pearson "Depression's the curse of my generation and I'm struggling in its grasp", Daily Mail, 28 April 2010
  8. ^ Eleanor Black, Women on the verge, p. 32, Next, (September 2010)
  9. ^ "Allison Pearson". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  10. ^ Saul, Heather (22 March 2016). "Telegraph columnist accused of 'shamelessly' using Brussels attacks to make Brexit argument". The Independent. Retrieved 21 July 2017. 
  11. ^ Pearson, Allison (12 January 2016). "Why the Brexit referendum will be swung by the horrific events in Cologne". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 July 2017. 
  12. ^ Pearson, Allison (1 March 2016). "Our schools and hospitals simply cannot cope with the influx of migrants - that's why we must leave the EU". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 July 2017. 
  13. ^ Ellitt, Chris (23 May 2017). "Manchester attack: intern terror suspects, urges Cambridge-based writer". Cambridge News. Retrieved 21 July 2017. 
  14. ^ [1] Reuters, 11 August 2008. Retrieved on 12 August 2008.
  15. ^ [2] The Daily Telegraph, 21 June 2010. Retrieved on 26 August 2010.
  16. ^ [3] The Daily Telegraph, 21 June 2010. Retrieved on 26 August 2010.
  17. ^ [4] The Guardian, 20 June 2010. Retrieved on 15 March 2017.
  18. ^ "How Hard Can It Be? by Allison Pearson - review". Evening Standard. Retrieved 2017-10-25. 
  19. ^ "A writer's life: Anthony Lane", The Daily Telegraph, 14 December 2003. Retrieved on 3 July.
  20. ^ McSmith, Andy (10 January 2016). "Diary: The ideal figure to bring discipline to unruly Blairites". The Independent. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  21. ^ "Bankruptcy Orders – Pearson, Allison". The Gazette. 23 November 2015. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 

External links

Video clips