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Kathryn Stockett biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Read-Alikes

Kathryn Stockett

Kathryn Stockett

Kathryn Stockett Biography

Kathryn Stockett was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. After graduating from the University of Alabama with a degree in English and Creative Writing, she moved to New York City, where she worked in magazine publishing and marketing for nine years before her career in writing.

She is known for her debut novel, The Help (2009). It is based in the 1960s and revolves around African-American maids working for white people, the book was also made into a movie.



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Interview

Kathryn Stockett explains the genesis of her first novel, The Help, about three very different women whose lives intersect in 1960s Mississippi.

What was the genesis of the novel?
Growing up in Mississippi, almost every family I knew had a black woman working in their house—cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the white children. That was life in Mississippi. I was young and assumed that’s how most of America lived.

When I moved to New York, though, I realized my “normal” wasn’t quite the same as the rest of America’s. I knew a lot of Southerners in the city, and every now and then we’d talk about what we missed from the South. Inevitably, somebody would start talking about the maid they grew up with, some little thing that made us all remember—Alice’s good hamburgers or riding in the back seat to take Willy May home. Everybody had a story to tell.

Twenty years later, with a million things to do in New York City, there we were still talking about the women who’d raised us in our mama’s kitchens. It was probably on one of those late nights, homesick, when I realized I wanted to write about those relationships from my childhood.

Tell us about your own family maid and your family’s relationship with her.
My grandmother’s maid was named Demetrie. She started working for my ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Kathryn Stockett at BookBrowse
The Help jacket
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Read-Alikes

All the books below are recommended as read-alikes for Kathryn Stockett but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose read-alikes

  • Brit Bennett

    Brit Bennett

    Born and raised in Southern California, Brit Bennett graduated from Stanford University and later earned her MFA in fiction at the University of Michigan, where she won a Hopwood Award in Graduate Short Fiction as well as the... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Help

    Try:
    The Vanishing Half
    by Brit Bennett

  • Tara Conklin

    Tara Conklin

    Tara Conklin was born on St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands and raised in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. She is a graduate of Yale University, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and New York University School of Law. Most... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Help

    Try:
    The House Girl
    by Tara Conklin

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