You may have heard of movies such as The Pelican Brief, A Time to Kill, The Client, Christmas with the Kranks, The Rainmaker, The Firm, and A Painted House, but do you know what is the common link among these films? They are all movies derived from John Grisham’s best-selling novels. So where did he get his start as a writer? In this John Grisham biography, we will explore his life and how he became one of the most successful authors in history.
Jake Brigance Books in Order
1. A Time to Kill: A Novel (1993)
2. Sycamore Row: A Novel (2013)
3. A Time for Mercy (2020)
Theodore Boone Books in Order
1. Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer (2010)
2. Theodore Boone: The Abduction (2011)
3. Theodore Boone: The Accused (2012)
4. Theodore Boone: The Activist (2013)
5. Theodore Boone: The Fugitive (2015)
6. Theodore Boone: The Scandal (2016)
7. Theodore Boone: The Accomplice (2019)
The Whistler Books in Order
1. The Whistler: A Novel (2016)
2. The Judge’s List: A Novel (2021)
Camino Books in Order
1. Camino Island: A Novel (2017)
2. Camino Winds (2020)
Standalone Books in Order
The Firm (1991)
The Pelican Brief (1992)
The Client (1993)
The Chamber (1994)
The Rainmaker (1995)
The Brethren (2000)
A Painted House (2001)
Skipping Christmas (2002)
The Last Juror (2004)
Playing for Pizza (2007)
Ford County: Stories (2009)
The Litigators (2011)
The Racketeer (2012)
Calico Joe (2012)
Fetching Raymond (2013)
Rogue Lawyer (2015)
Witness to a Trial (2016)
The Whistler (2016)
The Rooster Bar (2017)
Camino Island (2017)
John Grisham Biography
Grisham was born in Jonesboro, Arkansas, in February 1955, to John Ray Grisham and Wanda (maiden name Skidmore) Grisham. John Senior owned a cotton farm, worked as a construction worker and served as a city councilman. His mother, Wanda, was a homemaker and later became the bookkeeper for John Senior’s construction firm. John Grisham was the second of five siblings, having an older brother, a sister, and two younger brothers. As a child, he enjoyed playing baseball with his father on weekends or listening to Ole Miss Rebels football games on the radio during harvest time. He always dreamed of becoming a professional baseball player.
In his teenage years, he went to Olive Branch High School in DeSoto County, where he played shortstop for the school’s baseball team and became an all-state baseball player at fifteen years old. Sadly, he gave up his baseball career at age 18 when a pitcher intentionally threw a ball at him and causing severe damage. He attended Northwest Junior College (now called Northwest Mississippi Community College) in Senatobia MS from 1974 to 1976 before transferring to Delta State University in Cleveland, MS, where he studied accounting, hoping to become another successful person in his family who had become rich off cotton farming, or by working for one of the largest companies in America that produced textiles. However, John had little interest in studying to become an accountant. After graduation, he enrolled at the University of Mississippi School of Law.
In 1975, Grisham graduated from law school but failed the Bar exam twice afterward because he claimed he did not study hard enough. He finally passed the Bar on his third try in 1981 and began practicing criminal law at a small firm in Southaven, Mississippi. In 1984, he was elected to the state House of Representatives, where he served for four years. His work as a house representative was the inspiration for his first novel A Time to Kill.
After he finished his draft, his wife helped with the book’s editing. It was not until 1993 that the story was published and became an instant success. The rest is history as they say! Since then, John has written over thirty novels which have been translated into forty languages and sold more than 275 million copies worldwide. John’s work as a writer has earned him critical acclaim and numerous awards such as the American Bar Association Silver Gavel Award and France’s Prix de Littérature Policière.
Overview of John Grisham’s Books
Now that we have explored John Grisham’s life, let us look at his books. John has written many legal thrillers. The first novel, A Time to Kill, is about a black man who takes revenge on two white men after they brutally assaulted his ten-year-old daughter. John’s next work is The Firm. In this book, the protagonist Mitch McDeere accepts a lucrative offer from a prestigious law firm only to discover the secrets behind its perfect image. John wrote another thriller next year titled The Pelican Brief. This story follows Darby Shaw as she figures out the murder of Supreme Court Justices while she tries to stay alive from the assailant. Following the success of these novels, John wrote a book every year. John’s most recent novel is Sparring Partners, the fourth book to the Jake Brigance series. Following the third book Sycamore Row, Jake Brigance is requested by a death row inmate to complete a peculiar final wish.
In conclusion, John Grisham is one of America’s best-known authors whose career spanned three decades. He has written over 20 novels that have been translated into 40 languages worldwide and have won him critical acclaim and numerous awards. John Grisham is currently retired from practicing law and lives with his wife in Virginia.