Kathryn Stockett, author of the award-winning and successful novel The Help was born and raised in the setting of her very own book, Jackson, Mississippi. Stockett grew very close to her own maid growing up, which inspired her writing The Help. Another fun fact about her childhood, Stockett's best friend was in fact the director of the film version of The Help, Tate Taylor. Kathryn Stockett earned her degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of Alabama. After college, Stockett moved to New York City to pursue a career in writing. Stockett worked in the magazine publishing and marketing business for 16 years before writing her novel. The Help took five years for Stockett to write, and was turned down by 60 agents before an agent agreed to represent Stockett. Her agent seemed to have the right idea about The Help because it topped The New York Time's Best Seller List. The Help was published in forty two languages and was successful worldwide. So far, The Help is Kathryn Stockett's only novel. Kathryn Stockett currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
The 1960s was an important decade in the development of feminism and the change of women's roles in the United States. This development is extremely evident throughout The Help. Skeeter is especially an example of the progress of feminism during the sixties. She is the only one of her friends who actually completes all four years at Ole Miss. Not only does she graduate from college, she even gets a job afterwards. Women were able to have more freedom to enter the workforce during the 1960s due to the federal government's approval of the birth control pill. They could choose when they wanted to become mothers, giving them the time and ability to have a career. This opportunity to work came with new issues involving the expectations of women. Before many women had careers, they were expected to be wives and mothers for the entirety to their lives. Sexism was very common during this transitional decade for American women. Advertisements often encouraged women to be the perfect wife and mother, instead of empowering them to have a career and a personal life. Eliminating these old expectations was the most difficult part of the rise of feminism and is still a problem today. When Skeeter's mother hears the news about her new job she scoffs and says, "Great. Now you can write my obituary. Charlotte Phelan, dead. Her daughter, still single." (dialogue from the movie adaptation of The Help.)
Even with these obstacles, feminism really took off. Women demanded the same pay as men, and demanded that harassment and sexism be eliminated in the workplace. Men started to share the responsibilities to parenthood and domestic chores. The National Organization for Women was founded during this decade. Feminism was also evident in culture, such as on popular television shows and music.
Source: Walsh, Kenneth T. "The 1960s: A Decade of Change for Women." US News.
U.S.News & World Report, 12 Mar. 2010. Web. 06 Dec. 2013.