Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Legal Thriller Writer Talks Politics at Miss. Book Festival

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Legal Thriller Writer Talks Politics at Miss. Book Festival

Article excerpt

JACKSON, Miss. - John Grisham says being on the losing side of a Mississippi political fight gave him plenty of time to write big chunks of his first two legal thrillers, "A Time to Kill" and "The Firm." Grisham took part Saturday in the first Mississippi Book Festival at the state Capitol.

He recounted how, as a young state representative in the building during the 1980s, he was powerless after supporting a losing candidate for House speaker. So, instead, he listened and took notes as politicians drank coffee - or something stronger - and told tall tales.

"There's a storytelling tradition that goes hand-in-hand with our literary tradition, Grisham said.

More than 3,000 people attended the daylong book festival on the grounds of the state Capitol to celebrate the storytelling legacy of Mississippi, the home state of William Faulkner and other literary greats.

Throughout the day, panelists discussed a wide range of topics, including southern fiction, sports, food writing and civil rights history. …

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