Thursday, February 8, 2007

ANOTHER Vintage day in Literary History

Apparently, if you are going to be a renowened author, you must be born in February!! On February 8, 1851, Kate O'Flaherty Chopin was born in St. Louis, MO. She wrote many short stories, but is probably best know for her novel The Awakening. Her writing was controversial and well ahead of it's time.

Jules Gabriel Verne was born on Feb. 8, 1828 in Nantez, France. He is often referred to as the "Father of Science Fiction". He wrote about space, air and underwater travel before it was even invented. Some of his most popular works include 20, 000 Leagues under the Sea, A Journey to the Center of the Earth, and Around the World in 80 Days.

On Feb 8, 1955, John Ray Grisham, Jr. was born in Jonesboro, AK. Although he grew up wanting to be a professional baseball player, he decided to major in accounting at Mississippi State University. After graduating, attended law school at Ole Miss, and went on to practice law for nearly a decade in Southaven, specializing in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. In 1983, he was elected to the state House of Representatives and served until 1990. One day at the Dessoto County courthouse, Grisham overheard the harrowing testimony of a twelve-year-old rape victim and was inspired to start a novel exploring what would have happened if the girl's father had murdered her assailants. Getting up at 5 a.m. every day to get in several hours of writing time before heading off to work, Grisham spent three years on A Time to Kill and finished it in 1987. Initially rejected by many publishers, it was eventually bought by Wynwood press, who gave it a modest 5,000 copy printing and published it in June 1988. That might have put an end to Grisham's hobby. However, he had already begun his next book, and it would quickly turn that hobby into a new full-time career—and spark one of publishing's greatest success stories. The day after Grisham completed A Time to Kill, he began work on another novel, the story of a hotshot young attorney lured to an apparently perfect law firm that was not what it appeared. When he sold the film rights to The Firm to Paramount Pictures for $600,000, Grisham suddenly became a hot property among publishers, and book rights were bought by Doubleday. Spending 47 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, The Firm became the bestselling novel of 1991. Since first publishing A Time to Kill in 1988, Grisham has written one novel a year and all of them have become international bestsellers. There are currently over 225 million John Grisham books in print worldwide, which have been translated into 29 languages. Nine of his novels have been turned into films as was an original screenplay, The Gingerbread Man. The Innocent Man (October 2006) marks his first foray into non-fiction.


1 comment:

moonbeam said...

I've read all of Grisham's books and loved them all--EXCEPT--for The Innocent Man. I read it last month and was very disappointed. It reads like a bad newspaper article. I think the book was done as a favor to the sister's of the man the book is written about. The book is dedicated to them. And I've heard speculation that a law clerk actually wrote it and not Grisham. The way it's written it's easy to believe that.