With all gabillion of our copies of Kathryn Stockett’s 2009 phenom, The Help, still in circulation (I can’t think of the last time I actually saw one on the shelf!), it’s no wonder that the book continues to make headlines.
First, there’s the behind-the-scenes buzz about the upcoming movie, slated for release late this summer. The cast combines relative unknowns such as Emma Stone as Skeeter Phelan; Bryce Dallas Howard (daughter of Ron) as Hilly Holbrook; Jessica Chastain as Celia Foote; and Ahna O’Reilly as Elizabeth Leefolt, with veteran actresses Sissy Spacek as Missus Walters; Cicely Tyson as Constantine; and Allison Janney as Charlotte Phelan. The prime roles of Aibileen Clark and Minny Jackson go to Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, respectively. Fans of the audiobook will recognize Spencer as the narrator of Minny’s character.
In the meantime, the Chicago Tribune has announced the launch of a new lecture series called “Author Talks,” with Kathryn Stockett as the invited guest for Friday, May 6. Full details can be found online.
And while all this information may be very — wait for it — helpful, there’s one last bit of juicy gossip to throw into the mix. Stockett has just been sued by a woman in Jackson, Mississippi (where the novel takes place) who claims that she is the real-life inspiration for Aibileen — and she’s not happy about it. Read more about it at the online “Books” section of The New York Times.