AMERICAN MOSAIC #820 - John Grisham

By Nancy Steinbach


Our VOA listener question this week comes from Burma. Khin Htwe Su asks about the American writer John Grisham.

John Grisham has sold more than sixty-million books in twenty-nine languages."Publisher's Weekly" magazine named him the best-selling novel writer of the Nineteen-Nineties. Six of his books have been made into movies.

Most of his books are exciting stories about lawyers and their work.That is because John Grisham is a lawyer.

He was born in the southern state of Arkansas in Nineteen-Fifty-Five.He worked as a lawyer for nearly ten years in the small town of Southaven, Mississippi. He also served in the Mississippi House of Representatives.

One day, Mr. Grisham heard a twelve-year-old girl tell a court how she had been sexually attacked. This led him to write a book exploring what would have happened if the girl's father had killed her attackers.He called the book "A Time to Kill." Many publishers rejected it before it was bought by a small company and published in Nineteen-Eighty-Eight.

John Grisham immediately began writing another book. This one was about a young lawyer who worked for a company that was not what it appeared to be. The book was called "The Firm." It became the best-selling novel of Nineteen-Ninety-One.

Since then, John Grisham has written one book a year. All of them have been best sellers. He no longer works as a lawyer. He did, however, go back to the courtroom in Nineteen-Ninety-Six to keep a promise to a family. He had promised to represent them before he retired as a lawyer. He won the case. The family was awarded more than six-hundred-thousand dollars in damages.

Today John Grisham lives with his wife and two children in Mississippi.He supervises the local Little League baseball teams for children. He built six baseball fields on his property. Twenty-six Little League baseball teams have played there. He also continues to write. His twelfth and latest book was published in February. It is called "A Painted House."

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