The University of Alabama’s School of Law was visited by perhaps the most recognizable writer of legal fiction last week.
Author John Grisham was the keynote speaker at a symposium late last week celebrating Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird and examining its impact on society and the legal system. Grisham says To Kill a Mockingbird is one of a long line of novels that were both massively commercially successful and managed to shift public opinion about an issue or injustice through that success.
Grisham says he doesn’t necessarily count his novels in that league, but he did write one nonfiction book about a wrongful conviction. He says it’s not an experience he’s eager to repeat.
“Not just to expose or to criticize, but to offer some solution. That’s always the hard part for me. It’s easy to criticize. It’s easy to tell a horrible story, you know, about some injustice, ok? The challenge should be to show a way to avoid that, or to fix that.”
Grisham has published more than 35 books over the course of his career, including The Firm and A Time to Kill. His latest novel, Camino Island, is due out this June.