John Grisham Biography
(1955– ), A Time to Kill, The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Chamber, The Rainmaker
American novelist, born in Jonesboro, Arkansas, he studied law at Mississippi State University and the University of Mississippi and practised as a lawyer from 1981 to 1990. He also served in the Mississippi House of Representatives from 1984 to 1990. Grisham's fiction is informed by his knowledge of the American legal system. A Time to Kill (1989), his first novel, concerns the father of a rape victim who kills his daughter's attacker. The Firm (1991), which established him as a best-selling author, and its successors The Pelican Brief (1992) and The Client (1993), are treatments of individuals rendered vulnerable by their discoveries of corruption in legal and political circles. The Chamber (1994), which offers a deeply considered view of the death penalty, attracted more critical acclaim than its predecessors. Sales of Grisham's books have reached levels at which his publishers style him ‘the most popular author in the world’. The Rainmaker (1995) concerns a young lawyer who singlehandedly pursues an action against a major American insurance company.