John Grisham

On March 11th, 2012, Posted by author

Last modified: March 20, 2017

John Grisham

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John Grisham is one of the most popular novelists of the present times with a long line of best sellers, films and television series based on his books. Coming from an ordinary background his early dreams of a career as a professional baseball had to be et aside for a more practical profession as a lawyer.

Born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, one of the five children of a construction worker and a homemaker, John Grisham graduated from law school at Ole Miss in 1981 and started his practice as a criminal defense lawyer in  Southaven. He also served the state House of Representatives for seven years between 1983 and 1990.

How John Grisham began writing

His specialisation in criminal law and and personal injury litigation brought him into contact with a wide variety of people and cases. These served as an inspiration to write a novel. It is said that the testimony of a twelve-year old rape victim set him exploring the novelist’s “what-if” scenario and set him on the path to becoming a writer of legal thrillers. What at first began in 1988 as a hobby with his book A Time to Kill, turned into a full time occupation after his second book.

The Firm was snapped up by film makers Paramount Pictures for $600,000 three years later. This set the publishing houses buzzing and there was a stiff competition to publish the book. Eventually Doubleday bought the book rights and, in 1991 The Firm became the bestselling novel of the year after figuring in the bestseller list of the New York Times for 47 weeks. Grisham won the Galaxy British Book Awards winner, Grisham is one of only three authors to sell two million copies on a first printing.

The books and film adaptations of John Grisham

His regular output of a novel a year has added to the international bestsellers list since 1991. The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Chamber, The Rainmaker, The Runaway Jury, The Partner, The Street Lawyer are some of his books. Other books include The Testament, The Brethren, A Painted House, Skipping Christmas, The Summons, The King of Torts, Bleachers, The Last Juror, The Broker, Playing for Pizza, The Appeal, and The Associate. Nine films have been made from his books including The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, A Time to Kill, The Rainmaker, The Chamber, A Painted House, The Runaway Jury, and Skipping Christmas. The Gingerbread Man was an original screenplay. He has also written non-fiction, The Innocent Man  and a short story collection, Ford County.

Grisham is married to Renee and they have two children Ty and Shea. They live in a  Victorian farmhouse in Mississippi. When he’s not writing, Grisham involves himself in charitable causes. His most recent was the ‘Rebuild The Coast Fund’. He raised $8.8 million for the relief of areas in the Gulf Coast relief devastated by Hurricane Katrina. He also keeps up with his baseball passion.

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