Friday, February 20, 2009
Mississippi Has A New Author !!
Books get me excited!If you follow this blog
that isn't news to you but there is a new book that has me REAL excited!
The book is titled "The Help" a debut novel
by Mississippi Author Kathryn Stockett.
" The Help" was released on February 10,2009. It is getting 5 Star reviews from all who read the Advanced Reader Copies.
When I heard that this new book by Kathryn is already being touted as a Pulitzer Prize Nominee by some and that her writing is being compared to Harper Lee, Carson McCullers, Fannie Flagg and Flannery O'Conner, I sat up and took notice! No........I haven't read the book yet but a brand new copy is on its way to Swiftwater Farm! I spoke with Kathryn and as soon as I've read the book, I am going to do an interview with her on The Writers Porch!
The setting for "The Help" is in Kathryn's hometown, Jackson,Mississippi. Set in the years 1962-1964, a period of racial turmoil in a state that was a hot bed of the Civil Rights era, it is narrated in the voices of three women. Skeeter, a young white woman fresh out of college, Abilene the black woman who works for Skeeters family as hired help, and Minny another black woman who is continually getting fired from her jobs as a cook for white families because of her inability to keep from mouthing off to her white employers. Even though Kathryn wasn't born until
1969, the reviews claim she has captured not only the time and place but also the emotions perfectly! When asked how that was possible for her, she explained that the character Abilene is based on memories of a black woman named Demetrie who worked for her family helping raise two generations of children.
She confesses that she loved Demetrie dearly and kept her memories of her, the stories she told and the sound of her voice buried in the crevices of her soul. That writing Abilene, was like hearing Demetrie's voice again after many years. That along with having a 98 year old Grandfather with a perfect memory, gave her not only the bones but also the meat to create this story.
I was a young girl living in Hattiesburg during this era and I remember well the turmoil of this time in Mississippi history. I also had a black woman in my life, Ruby Hurst who worked for my maternal grandparents. I adored her, as she did me. I have vivid memories of her and the love and kindness she showered me with.I had myself thought of writing about this very subject when I moved back to Mississippi. I went in search of Ruby and was devastated when I discovered she had died in 1998. I wanted so much to tell her how much she was loved by me and now the chance was forever gone! So I am very eager to read " The Help" in hopes it will " help" me recapture
the sound of Ruby's voice!
Congratulations Kathryn on your new book and I look forward to seeing you on The Writers Porch!!