Sunday, May 8, 2011
The Help - Author Talk - May 6, 2011
Book: The Help
Author: Kathryn Stockett
Author Talk Review
On May 6, 2011, I went to see Kathryn Stockett speak at the Chase Auditorium in Chicago. She wrote The Help, which I ranked as one of the best books I read in 2011 - so far at least.
Despite the moderator's refusal to actually ask questions, the author did a wonderful job of picking up the slack and keeping the audience on their toes with her wry sense of humor. Initially, I had my doubts when she started talking in her whispery southern lilt - but, when Kathryn Stockett warmed up, she shoved the already willing crowd in the direction of a "good time."
She talked about writing The Help - and how she would go to the local Day's Inn to frantically write, of her husband she said: "I'm sure he thought I was having an affair but it was with two black maids and a skinny white girl." She also discussed doing research from old phone books and help wanted ads from that time period. But, apparently she hates research and feels it is best to: "pick up a book someone else has written on the topic and take it from there. Which, as my astute friend pointed out - is research.
Of course Stockett was asked which books she likes best and she listed several - including: The Paris Wife, Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, Lolita, and The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I can imagine that those are going to become Book Club books very quickly.
The movie comes out in August and she referred it to as "incestuous" apparently her entire family and all of her friends are in the movie and it is produced by one of her childhood friends from Jackson, Mississippi. Can't wait!
Overall, it was a great way to spend a Friday night - we got a signed! book, the talk, refreshments (including lots of wine) and all for 20 bucks. If you ever get the chance to see Kathryn Stockett speak - you should go. She's witty and wonderful.