|Publication date||February 10, 2009|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover)|
|Dewey Decimal||813/.6 22 ,|
|LC Classification||PS3619.T636 H45 2009|
The Help is a 2009 novel by American author Kathryn Stockett. The story is about African-American maids working in white households in Jackson, Mississippi, during the early 1960s. A USA Today article called it one of 2009's "summer sleeper hits". An early review in The New York Times notes Stockett's "affection and intimacy buried beneath even the most seemingly impersonal household connections" and says the book is a "button-pushing, soon to be wildly popular novel". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said of the book: "This heartbreaking story is a stunning début from a gifted talent."
The novel is Stockett's first. It took her five years to complete and was rejected by 60 literary agents before agent Susan Ramer agreed to represent Stockett. The Help has since been published in 35 countries and three languages. As of August 2011, it has sold five million copies and has spent more than 100 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list.
The Help's audiobook version is narrated by Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, and Cassandra Campbell. Spencer was Stockett's original inspiration for the character of Minny, and also plays her in the film adaptation.
Plot summary 
Racial issues of overcoming long-standing barriers in customs and laws are experienced by all of the characters. The lives and morals of Southern socialites are also explored.
Film adaptation 
At the 84th Academy Awards, Octavia Spencer won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in this film. The film also received three other Academy Award nominations: Academy Award for Best Picture, Academy Award for Best Actress for Viola Davis, and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Jessica Chastain.
Abilene Cooper, a maid who used to work for Stockett's brother, has criticized the author for stealing her life story without her knowledge and sued her for $75,000 in damages. Cooper also criticized her for comparing the character's skin color to a cockroach. A Hinds County, Mississippi judge threw the case out of court, citing the statute of limitations. Stockett denies her claim of stealing her likeness, and says she only met her briefly.
Awards and honors 
- New York Times bestseller (Fiction, 2009, 2011)
- Amazon's Best Books of the Year (#19, 2009)
- Orange Prize Longlist (2010)
- Indies Choice Book Award (Adult Debut, 2010)
- Townsend Prize for Fiction (2010)
- Exclusive Books Boeke Prize (2009)
- SIBA Book Award (Fiction, 2010)
- International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award Longlist (2011)
- Christian Science Monitor Best Book (Fiction, 2009)
See also 
- Memmott, Carol (July 31, 2009). "Kathryn Stockett's 'The Help' is the hot book this summer". USA Today. Retrieved 2009-10-20.
- Maslin, Janet (February 18, 2009). "Racial Insults and Quiet Bravery in 1960s Mississippi". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-20.
- Dollacker, Sarah Sacha (February 1, 2009). "Segregation tale describes bond of women". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 6 December 2009.
- Calkin, Jessamy (July 16, 2009). "The maid's tale: Kathryn Stockett examines slavery and racism in America's Deep South". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2009-10-20.
- "Kathryn Stockett's 'The Help' Turned Down 60 Times Before Becoming a Best Seller". More Magazine.
- Kehe, Marjorie (May 14, 2010). "With book sales still strong, 'The Help' will begin filming". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- Williams, Wyatt. "Kathryn Stockett: Life in the belle jar". Creative Loafing Atlanta. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
- D'Souza, Karen. "'The Help' is poised to become chick flick of the summer". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
- Fleming, Michael (15 December 2009). "Chris Columbus fast-tracks 'Help'". Variety.
- Churcher, Sharon (4 September 2011). "Her family hired me as a maid for 12 years but then she stole my life and made it a Disney movie". The Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 12 September 2011.
- Mitchell, Jerry. "'The Help' lawsuit tossed out". The Clarion Ledger.
- Chaney, Jen. "‘The Help’ lawsuit against Kathryn Stockett is dismissed". The Washington Post. Retrieved 24 May 2012.