Law and Conversation

June 18, 2010

Lawyers who write fiction

Filed under: Books and writing,fiction,Law,lawyer writers,reading — Helen Gunnarsson @ 10:46 am
Tags: , , ,

So many great fiction writers turn out to have been lawyers, or to have trained as lawyers, including the great 19th century writers Dickens, Eca de Queiroz, and Balzac and modern writers Scott Turow and Alexander McCall Smith, to name only a few. 

I’m now reading a slim but intense volume of short stories depicting contemporary Zimbabwe by yet another lawyer who’s also a fine fiction writer:  “An Elegy For Easterly,” by Petina Gappah.   Gappah, now an international trade lawyer in Geneva, Switzerland, won The Guardian’s First Book Award for her collection.  Her website and blog are worth checking out for her essays about writing, literature, Africa, and the world, as is this review of 2 Zimbabwean memoirs that she recently published in the London Sunday Times.

In one of her recent posts, Gappah provides a link to The North Korean Random Insult Generator–great fun!


  1. I am thinking about the link between law and literature. I followed a link to your website and found myself. How utterly bizarre … and delightful.

    Comment by PetinaGappah — August 15, 2010 @ 3:49 am | Reply

    • So glad you happened to drop by, and I hope you’ll return! I enjoyed your book and am looking forward to the release of your next one. In the meantime, I’ve recommended your blog to others!

      Comment by helengunnar — August 15, 2010 @ 8:18 am | Reply

  2. […] writer Petina Gappah, whose book of short stories, “Elegy for Easterly,” and articles I read and wrote about earlier this summer, for visiting, leaving kind comments, and adding this blog to her blogroll.  Petina is part of a […]

    Pingback by Thursday thanks! « Law and Conversation — August 26, 2010 @ 12:29 am | Reply

  3. […] often criticized as a profession for being poor writers.  I don’t think that’s entirely fair—there are many lawyers who are very fine writers, and many fine writers who trained in the law—but it is true that many statutes, administrative regulations, court opinions, and legal […]

    Pingback by Shakespeare, SpongeBob, and the law « Law and Conversation — January 31, 2011 @ 5:38 pm | Reply

  4. […] I’ve posted before on writers who are lawyers or who were trained in the law, as Flaubert was.  But there are also many doctors who are marvelous writers as well as some great doctor characters in literature. (Interestingly, Flaubert’s father was a doctor.)  Please check back later this week when I’ll have some reading suggestions regarding doctors in literature. […]

    Pingback by Medical malpractice in Madame Bovary « Law and Conversation — May 16, 2011 @ 12:04 am | Reply

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