Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Help: Art imitating life or a simple coincidence?

Have you heard about the controversy surrounding the book The Help by Kathryn Stockett?

A woman who works as a maid for Stockett's brother claims that Aibileen, a main character in the book, is modeled after her. AND the real-life woman's name is Ablene. Coincidence? Could be.

The lawsuit, which seeks $75,000 in damages, was filed in Jackson, Mississippi, where the novel is set. A hearing is set for August 16th.

As a novelist, I understand how similarities can occur. We hear a name or recall an incident, and it's incorporated into our story. Face it, often experiences in an author's life (of the life of a friend or family member) find their way into our fiction. And more than one story was inspired from a headline.

It will be interesting to see how this case shakes out.
Here are a few more details about the controversy.

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