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Best of the National Book Festival: John Grisham, 2009

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Welcome to our ongoing celebration of the Library of Congress National Book Festival. Each weekday, we will feature a video presentation from among the thousands of authors who have appeared at the National Book Festival and as part of our new year-long series, National Book Festival Presents. Mondays will feature topical nonfiction; Tuesday: poetry or literary fiction; Wednesday: history, biography, memoir; Thursday: popular fiction; and Friday: authors who write for children and teens. Please enjoy, and make sure to explore our full National Book Festival video collection!

Master of the legal thriller John Grisham came to the National Book Festival for the first time in 2009, where he appeared on the Fiction & Fantasy stage to talk to The Washington Post’s Book Critic Jonathan Yardley (at 5:30) about “The Associate,” one in a long line of Grisham’s smash bestsellers. Then Librarian of Congress James H. Billington introduced the writer, who was once an attorney in a small Mississippi law firm, and presented him with the Library of Congress Creative Achievement Award (since renamed the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction).

Two years after this appearance at the Festival, Grisham received the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction. In addition to his legal novels, he has also written books on topics such as baseball and football, and his popular Theodore Boone books are legal thrillers for kids. Grisham also keeps up with his greatest passion: baseball. The man who dreamed of being a professional baseball player now serves as the local Little League commissioner. The six ballfields he built on his property have played host to more than 350 kids on 26 Little League teams.

Grisham takes audience questions at 49:45.