It’s come to the attention of many a John Grisham fan that there is a rather large mistake in his novel The Guardians which was published in October of 2019. (Ah, better days.)
The Guardians is a mystery/thriller novel about the death of a lawyer and the only suspect is Quincy Miller, a black man who is sent to prison for the murder although he was innocent.
He had no lawyer, no advocate on the outside. In desperation, he writes a letter to Guardian Ministries, a small nonprofit run by Cullen Post, a lawyer who is also an Episcopal minister.
Guardian Ministries accepts only a few innocence cases at a time. With Quincy Miller, though, he gets far more than he bargained for. Powerful, ruthless people murdered Keith Russo, and they do not want Quincy Miller exonerated. They killed one lawyer twenty-two years ago, and will kill another without a second thought.
Great premise aside, it has come to the attention of many readers that there was an incorrect statement made about Morehouse College in the book. Morehouse College is a famous and prestigious HBCU (Historically Black College/University) in Atlanta, Georgia. Famous alumni include, Martin Luther King, Spike Lee, Samuel L. Jackson and John Washington (Denzel Washington’s son).
If you noticed the trend of male alumni its because the college is male only and has been it’s inception. The mistake comes from Chapter 4 of the novel, where Grisham wrote about an African American woman named Mazy Ruffin and how she “blitzed through Morehouse” which obviously infers that she attended the school. Which could not have happened.
According to some of his die hard fans, his books are usually well written and well researched, so that begs to question: what happened here? It takes a quick google search to find out the public history of Morehouse. It could’ve been an innocent oversight, but that also make me wonder if there wasn’t any one on the editing team who was black or even knew for sure what kind of school Morehouse is. To some it may seem like he just looked up HBCU schools online and picked one that sounded the best.
To his fans, this mistake is a bit disheartening because it was so avoidable and could have been easily fixed if someone had just taken the time. What do you guys think? An honest mistake that wasn’t caught by an editor or purposeful ignorance?