On Tuesday night, I went to a local reading / signing featuring Kathryn Stockett of The Help. It is always fun to meet the face behind the words, and I love hearing writers talk about their writing process. And, I must mentioned that she started the evening expressing her pleasure that this crowd had gathered to talk about “the written word” – my chosen theme for the year.
Stockett read not from the book proper, but from the postscript essay, “Too Little, Too Late.” A nice selection, that in her sweet Southern drawl, reminded me of another reason why only Southerners should write about the south
– occasionally they may be asked to read and an effected accent would be unbearable.
In talking about the book and something I mentioned in my review
, “Kitty” – as her childhood friends call her – explained that to write from a black woman’s point of view, it simply took her imagining how it would feel if someone told her she could eat in certain restaurants or drink from certain water fountains because her germs may spread disease. “We’re all just people – we’d all feel the same in the same situations.”
As a first novel, The Help has had tremendous success. In fact last week Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks picked up its screenplay, written and to be directed by Tate Taylor, a hometown friend of Stockett. (She talked about their artsy clique in high school and the joy for both of them to being doing exactly what they always wanted to do.)
As much fun as seeing Stockett was meeting in flesh & blood two fellow bloggers and new frequent commenters on BBB – Misti
. And, I have Misti to thank for the picture – she had enough sense to bring a camera! Imagine that!
Stockett said she is currently working on her second novel that is also set in Mississippi but takes place during the depression.
PS – I had just worked out when I went to the reading, so please excuse the outfit!