John Grisham takes vacation from courtroom thriller, sets next book in Italy

Published 3:35 pm Friday, June 1, 2007

John Grisham is taking a vacation, an Italian vacation, from the courtroom thriller.

The author of such million-selling classics as “The Firm” and “The Client” is setting his next book in Italy. “Playing for Pizza,” the story of an American quarterback trying his luck in Italy, will come out in September, the Doubleday Broadway Publishing Group announced Thursday.

“One of the many joys of working with John is the element of surprise,” Doubleday publisher Stephen Rubin said in a statement.

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“Who would have thought that the master of the legal thriller would write a novel about cotton farming (‘A Painted House’) or a novel about the excesses of Christmas? (‘Skipping Christmas’) Now, John pulls another rabbit out of his endless supply of hats with ‘Playing for Pizza,’ a romp about a fish out of water that had me laughing out loud.”

“I was pleasantly surprised to find real American football in Italy,” Grisham said in a statement issued by Doubleday, “and as I dug deeper, a novel came together. The research was tough — food, wine, opera, football, Italian culture — but someone had to do it.”

According to Doubleday, Grisham came up with the idea of the book while researching “The Broker,” which took place in Bologna, Italy. Another legal thriller, currently untitled, is scheduled for Spring 2008.