US Supreme Court, setting of John Grisham’s The Pelican Brief ©Author Adventures

John Grisham, Southern Attorney Becomes Author of Mysteries

John Grisham was born in 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and became one of the bestselling US fiction writers around the world during the late 20th and early 21st centuries, with more than 300 million books in print.

His family moved to Mississippi in his youth. After attending law school and while practicing as a young attorney in the late 1980s, he began writing legal thrillers set in the South, many of which later became major feature films and at least one that became a Broadway play. His earliest successes include A Time to Kill, The Pelican Brief, and The Firm. In more recent years, he wrote the Theodore Boone series for middle-grade readers. Celebrities who starred in the feature films based on Grisham’s books include Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts, and Denzel Washington.

Read more about Grisham here: and Find a bibliography of his books here:

Grisham’s private estates remain in the South.

Mississippi State University

The John Grisham Room is located on the third floor of the Mississippi State University Mitchell Memorial Library at 395 Hardy Road. The room is used for special events and exhibits of memorabilia connected to the author, who was an undergraduate student there after attending Delta State University.

According to, the holdings of the room are described as “…materials and memorabilia from the writings and achievements of bestselling author, former Mississippi legislator (1983-1990), and MSU alumnus John Grisham. The Grisham Room is also the venue for many Library and University special events.”

Missisissippi State University is in Starkville and has an enrollment of approximately 20,000 students.

The John Grisham Room of Mississippi State University is the fifth stop of the Mississippi Author Adventures Trail.

Patricia Smart