WAMU 88.5 : The Diane Rehm Show

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John Grisham: "Sycamore Row"

John Grisham’s first novel was “A Time to Kill,” a thriller about a young, Mississippi lawyer who successfully defends a black client charged with murder. Grisham wrote that book in his laundry room while practicing law in Mississippi. It remains one of the best-selling novels of all time. Now, 25 years later, Grisham returns to the same rural Mississippi town with a sequel: the story features many of the same characters and another controversial trial tinged with race. Attorney Jake Brigance is back and his client is a dead man who left behind a controversial will and a big family secret. Diane talks with best-selling author John Grisham.

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John Grisham, master of the legal suspense thriller, talks about why he waited more than 20 years to write "Sycamore Row," the follow-up novel to "A Time to Kill," and why he says his wife is his most honest critic. Grisham said his personal life had changed so much from when he wrote "A Time to Kill," which was inspired by some of his own experiences as a Mississippi lawyer, that he was hesitant the sequel would lack authenticity. "Every book goes back to story. You can't write anything without a story," he said.

Read An Excerpt

Excerpt from "Sycamore Row" by John Grisham. Copyright 2013 by John Grisham. Reprinted here by permission of Doubleday. All rights reserved.

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