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Kathryn Stockett

Kathryn Stockett was born in Jackson, MS and graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in English and creative writing. She moved to New York City after graduation to work in magazine publishing and write her first novel on the side. After five years of writing and rejections from 60 literary agents, The Help was published in 2009.

The Help is the story of black maids in Jackson in the 1960s and their unexpected (and disapproved of) friendship with Skeeter Phelan, a wealthy white woman. Skeeter returns to Jackson after her graduation from Ole Miss and realizes that she has little in common with her childhood friends, women who have married young and are now content in their lives as housewives and mothers.

Skeeter applies for a job at a New York publishing company and is rejected because of her lack of experience. To gain experience, she takes a job writing a cleaning advice column for a local newspaper. When she realizes she knows nothing about cleaning, she turns to her friend Elizabeth’s maid Aibileen. Her relationship with Aibileen opens Skeeter’s eyes to the real experience of “the help” that she grew up barely noticing. Skeeter teams up with Aibileen, her best friend Minnie, and some of their friends to write the true stories of the help.

The book became extremely popular among book clubs and spent over 100 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller List.

In 2011, a film adaptation was made starring Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, and Emma Stone. Octavia Spencer won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and the film was nominated for three other Oscars.

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