Art and Life

John Grisham Thriller Controversy

John Grisham’s new thriller, The Associate, is a real potboiler. The author’s the one in the pot. Grisham’s protagonist is a Yale law student with a dark secret—after a frat party at Duquesne University, the protagonist and his cohorts were involved in a rape. Seems like a good formula for suspense, except for one small problem: Duquesne is a real university, and the administration is really mad. "We think it's unfortunate that [Grisham] chose to use our name and associate it with a fictional incident of this nature, especially when Duquesne students are generally known for their leadership and integrity,” a spokeswoman at the small Catholic University said. Moreover, this fictional scenario hits a little close to home: four Duquesne basketball players were charged with raping a student in 1984. “It was not my intent or desire to embarrass Duquesne University or make anyone there feel uncomfortable," Grisham said.