For his work in Sycamore Row, New York Times bestselling author, lawyer and previous Harper Lee Prize winner John Grisham received the 2014 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction. The prize, authorized by Ms. Lee and co-sponsored by The University of Alabama School of Law and the ABA Journal, is given annually to a book-length work of fiction that best illuminates the role of lawyers in society and their power to effect change.
“My thanks to the committee for the selection of Sycamore Row,” Grisham said. “I’m still admiring the first Harper Lee award. It’s hard to believe there is now a second one. I am deeply humbled.”
Sycamore Row was chosen by a distinguished selection committee, including Kevin Blackistone, sports columnist, ESPN panelist and University of Maryland professor; Fannie Flagg, New York Times bestselling author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café and screenplay of the Academy Award-nominated Fried Green Tomatoes; Dan Kornstein partner at Kornstein, Veisz, Wexler & Pollard and former Harper Lee panelist; Adam Liptak, journalist, lawyer and Supreme Court correspondent for the New York Times; and Marianne Szegedy-Maszak, journalist, author and former Harper Lee panelist.
Grisham’s book, Sycamore Row, was honored during a ceremony on Aug. 28, at 5 p.m., at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. in conjunction with the National Book Festival. Alison Rich, publicist for Mr. Grisham, accepted the award on his behalf. She also received Mr. Grisham’s copy of To Kill a Mockingbird signed by Harper Lee. Following the award presentation, the Selection Committee hosted a panel discussion of Sycamore Row, in relationship to Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.