Kathryn Stockett's 'The Help' takes place in 1960s Jackson, Mississippi, and follows the interactions between African-American maids and their wealthy white employers. One of 2009's bestselling books, a Civil Rights-era drama entitled 'The Help,' is finding its way to the big screen quickly, thanks to 'Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone' and 'Home Alone' director Chris Columbus.
Kathryn Stockett's 'The Help' takes place in 1960s Jackson, Mississippi, and follows the interactions between African-American maids and their wealthy white employers.
'The Help' is in its 35th week on the New York Times bestseller list, with that newspaper's review calling it a "button-pushing, soon to be wildly popular novel." USA Today called it one of 2009's "summer sleeper hits." The Washington Post said, "[Stockett's] first novel is a nuanced variation on the theme that strikes every note with authenticity."
'The Help' is Stockett's debut novel and reportedly was rejected by about 50 agents before Putnam Books gave it the green light. It became popular quickly after its release in February.
Actor-turned-director Tate Taylor, who knows both Columbus and Stockett personally, will write and direct. Taylor's directing credits are limited, including 2008's indie 'Pretty Ugly People.'
Taylor and Stockett both grew up in Mississippi; Taylor's mother was inspiration for one of the novel's characters. Taylor showed it to Columbus as an early peek.