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A marvelous storyteller who works readers the way a good trial lawyer works a jury and an author whose newest books we await eagerly. 

Grisham's smart use 
of the suspense novel 
to explore questions 
of being and faith puts
him squarely in the 
footsteps of DICKENS 
-Publishers Weekly
Book Reviews
A Painted House
The Brethren
The Testament
A Time to Kill
The Street Lawyer
The Firm
The Pelican Brief
The Client
The Chamber
The Rainmaker
The Runaway Jury
The Partner
John Grisham was sitting in court one day, listening to testimony from a young girl who had been raped, wondering what would have happened if the girl's father had killed the rapist and had been compelled to stand trial for murder. His courtroom musings grew into the plot of his first novel,  A Time To Kill. Grisham's background provides few hints of his future as a bestselling author. He and his four siblings had more emotional advantages than physical advantages. The Grisham kids never realized that their parents didn't have a lot of money, and the author simply remembers being "well-scrubbed and loved." Grisham's first love was--and remains--baseball. He played all through high school and also during his first year of college, but he eventually realized that he was not cut out for a sports career. Instead, he earned a degree in accounting and then went to law school. The choices he made back then make it possible today for Grisham to write for half a year and then spend the other six months coaching his children's Little League teams.

In 1983, two years after graduating law school, Grisham  was elected  as a  representative to the Mississippi legislature. He served a four-year term and was re-elected in 1987, but resigned in frustration. He had wanted, he says, to make changes to the state's educational system, but he felt he was fighting a losing battle. Already Grisham had started arriving at his law office at five in the morning, just to work on the manuscript for A Time To Kill. Grisham mailed the  finished copy to 16 literary agents and the agent who signed him on submitted the manuscript to more than 20 publishers. Over a year later,Wynwood Press  bought it for  $15,000. (A Time to Kill did  not become a bestseller until  it was reissued as a paperback in 1992.) 

Grisham's breakthrough book was The Firm, a runaway bestseller that propelled the author into fame and fortune. He was having a good time along the way, though, and often expressed gratitude for his good fortune. His sudden rise must have inspired him. He wrote his next bestseller, The Pelican Brief in just 100 days. Grisham novels easily lend themselves to movies. (Read the description of Darby in The Pelican Brief and try not to picture Julia Roberts.) Of his eight books, five have done well as feature films. These days, Grisham no longer practices law, but writes one book per year. Every afternoon, he tends to the six ball fields on his property, cutting the grass, and chalking the lines. He routinely coaches at least three Little League teams. Last season, his property hosted 350 children on 26 teams.

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