|The display of the fictional bookstore in the movie where the book "The Help" is sold.|
My mom and sisters are also big fans of the book, The Help. I didn't read it in print the first time but listened to it as an audiobook. It was beautiful and I was particularly touched by Aibileen's relationship with Mae Mobley and got teary over the depictions of their relationship.
My mom is an adult fiction buyer for a small, independent bookstore in Alabama. As part of her responsibilitites, she gets to go to these book show/convention type things to see the books out there that are planned for release in the next year or so. There are many authors at these events and some of them include opportunities to meet and spend time with authors. After one of these events a few years ago, Mom called to relate that she had had the nicest conversation at a luncheon with a female author "about the age of you girls." I asked my mom to recall the meeting and am delighted to introduce her as a guest poster:
"It was at the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance annual tradeshow in Mobile in Spetember of 2009. During that 3 day event, Kathryn was a participant in the Moveable Feast of Authors, a luncheon during which authors move from table to table talking about their books to independent booksellers from the SE United States. I was fortunate enough to have her sit right next to me. We had a grand discussion about many aspects of race relations. As I was talking to her at the luncheon (you know, I was the self-proclaimed expert on racial issues having lived in Selma and I even argued a few points with her for which she thanked me when I ran into her later). I thought she was too young and too privileged to have written such a book. To myself I am saying "she cannot possibly have a clue".
I started reading the advanced reader's copy later that day and I was blown away. In the ARC was a letter from the publisher, Amy Einhorn, asking readers to e-mail her with comments about the book. Of course I e-mailed her when I was about in the middle of the book telling her my original opinion of the author's ability to write such a story and how my mind was quickly and completely changed. After a few e-mails back and forth, I asked Amy to send my comments to the author, which she did. Kathryn and I later corresponded several times. As soon as the book was published, I received a beautiful, pristine, personalized copy which I will treasure always.
When she did a telephone talk with my book club, Kathryn said she had absolutely no idea the book would be as popular as it was and was astounded that it had been translated into so many languages. As a book seller, I can say that I have personally sold dozens and dozens of copies of this book and every customer who came back to me to talk about it loved it. I am thrilled that it has done so well. "
So, in summary: WELL DONE to the Director (and screenwriter)Tate Taylor and a VERY WELL DONE to the author, Kathryn Stockett.
Oh, and I got to go to the advance screening of the movie FOR FREE as a guest of my friend Elaine who was a guest of a PR company, but these opinions are mine all mine ! I, of course, couldn't resist trying to get a couple laughs during the trivia quiz before the movie, and I just hope I didn't embarass Elaine and I hope the PR company doesn't lose my application to be on their press list.