From a successful career in law to writing books, John Grisham is one of the bestselling authors out there. He was born on February 8, 1955, in Jonesboro, Arkansas and worked as an attorney and Mississippi legislator before becoming a big success in the writing industry, to the point where some of his works were made into movies.
The inspiration for his first book came during a trial in 1984, where Grisham heard of a horrifying case where a young girl was recounting her experience of rape. The book examined the issue, highlighting the actions of a fictional father and an attorney. It was named “A time to kill” and initially got a 5000 copy printing from Wynwood Press. Thus began his career as a writer.
His next novel, The Firm went around Hollywood and the film rights to the book were picked up by Paramount for more than half a million dollars. It also became a New York bestseller for 50 weeks, ending up as the top-selling book of the year.
Apart from this, he had an array of bestsellers as well. The Client (1993), The Runaway Jury (1996), Bleachers (2003), Playing for Pizza(2007) and The Litigators (2011), among many others. Time to Kill sequel, Sycamore Row, was released in 2013. More recent titles published include Gray Mountain(2014), Rogue Lawyer (2015) and The Whistler (2016).
Grisham worked with other literary genres apart from adult novels. The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town (2006), the short-story collection Ford County and the young adult series Theodore Boone. But despite the change in genre, all his work addresses social issues and deals directly with legal and moral questions such as the death penalty, homelessness, health insurance and prison conditions. They often focus on the brokenness of the society.
Grisham’s literary hero was and still is Mark Twain. He says, “I wanted to be Tom Sawyer. I loved that romanticised view of a kid’s life. It wasn’t until a lot later that I realized there was more going on with Tom and Huck than just an adventure.” Steinbeck was also important to him, and so was Dickens, and he has been praised by several critics on the “Dickensian” feel of The Litigators.
His life as a lawyer has influenced and inspired him to write stories that highlight the issues faced in our world. They are not only enlightening, but also focus on a good plot, and fantastic character development. His stories are definitely worth the read and can take you on a rollercoaster of a journey.
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