I'm currently reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I was skeptical at first, but find myself enjoying the novel.
It's the fictional story of a group of black maids who work for white women in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s. But, of course, this story was true for thousands of black women who had no choice but to work for white women in the U.S. Probably still is true. Sad, but true.
Although skeptical about reading the book, I find myself thinking about my grandmother, who herself worked as help for a white family and raised their kids. Many of the details of the maids' lives (how they had to budget, keeping a garden in order to eat, the internal struggle of raising someone else's kids while feeling like they're neglecting their own kids) seem authentic in the novel so far.
My skepticism, however, came from a white woman author writing a black woman's story. Wondering if any of you have read it or are reading it? Your thoughts? What about looking through a lens of social justice, equality, or being culturally empowered? Would this book be as accepted or "acclaimed" if written by a black woman author? Is this another "let us tell you about your experience" story?
These are the questions I'm wrestling with as I read... and wondering if any of you can help with The Help?
How do you name your characters?
11 hours ago