Monday, 4 November 2013

John Grisham's Sycamore Row

John Grisham's latest novel, Sycamore Row, has now been released. In it, Grisham reprises the character of Jake Brigance, the young lawyer featured in his first book, A Time to Kill. The inspiration for the original story came when Grisham, as a young lawyer, overheard the testimony of a twelve-year-old rape victim. Grisham readily admits that Jake Brigance is his most autobiographical character.

A Time to Kill was rejected by various publishers before finally being published in 1988 with only 5000 copies being printed. The novel was subsequently reprinted once Grisham became a bestselling novelist with the publication of The Firm. It is now one of his most popular novels.

Although Grisham has obviously refined his style and story-telling techniques since his debut novel, his themes have remained consistent throughout his work as his often idealistic young lawyers encounter the realities of the legal system and attempt to find justice for those they defend.

Grisham is said to have enjoyed writing the book so much that he was reluctant to finish it and give the manuscript to his publishers. If you're interested in reading more about the background to Grisham's latest novel, please visit NPR Books.

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