The Help In Black & White.

“I was labeled ‘psychologically sick,’ ‘morally senile,’ and was accused of possessing ‘a vile racist imagination,’” Styron recalled in his introduction to the 1994 Modern Library edition of the book. “The major complaint was … how dare a white man write so intimately of the black experience, even presuming to become Nat Turner by speaking in the first person?”

Forty-two years later, “The Help” (2009), a novel narrated, in large part, by African-American maids in the Deep South of the early 1960s, was published. Instead of scorn and enmity, author Kathryn Stockett, who is white, has been greeted with rapturous reviews, spectacular sales and a movie deal.

What’s the difference?




From The Chicago Tribune…

White novelist tackles truths of black life in ‘The Help

Julia Keller
Cultural Critic

The last time a white writer tried to give prolonged fictional voice to the thoughts and emotions of an oppressed black person in a major novel, the result was devastating — not for literature, which gained a profound and powerful novel titled “The Confessions of Nat Turner” (1967), but for the life of William Styron, the man who wrote it. Leer más “The Help In Black & White.”