Category Archives: Books

"I Just Made Shit Up!" Kathryn Stockett and The Story Behind ‘The Help’

The day after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, Kathryn Stockett found herself sitting in her downtown New York City apartment, reflective, lonely and terribly homesick. “I was thinking about my family and thinking about this woman named Demetrie,” said Stockett. “She was the African-American woman that worked for our family for 32 years and for the first time in my life, I started to ask myself ‘what was she thinking all of those years?’ I had totally taken it for granted. I was so naive as a child. She knew everything about us and I didn’t know anything about her. So I started

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Book Review: Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones

Teyari Jones’ new novel, Silver Sparrow, a stirring first person narrative told from the point of view of two sisters (Dana Lynn Yarbor and Bunny Chaurisse Witherspoon) who live in the same city, share the same father but don’t know each other, is so specific, so personal, so authentic it almost feels more autobiographical than fiction. “My father, James Witherspoon, is a bigamist,” says Dana, in the opening line of Sparrow. Both her mother and Chaurisse’s mother have the pleasure of calling James their husband. But the dynamics of these civil unions couldn’t be more different. In an interview with

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Book Review: Room by Emma Donoghue

If you ask Jack, the 5-year-old little boy who narrates Emma Donoghue’s audacious 2010 novel, Room, life is grand. He’s got the whole world at his fingertips, at least the world he’s come to know. Trapped in an 11-by-11-foot room since the day he was born (there’s a spot on the rug that “marks” the occasion), he and Ma, his 26-year-old mother, live day in and day out in a soundproofed shed in the backyard of their captor’s house. A man Jack and Ma refer to as Old Nick, kidnapped, rapped imprisoned and impregnated Ma seven years earlier. Now, she’s

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