Kathryn Stockett

  • A lawsuit filed Feb. 9 against the author of The Help, a 1960s-set novel about a black maid and her relationship with a group of white families in Jackson, Miss., accuses Kathryn Stockett of unauthorized appropriation of the name and image of Ablene Cooper. A 60-year-old black maid and babysitter who works for Stockett's brother in Jackson, Cooper alleges that the book's primary character--named Aibileen Clark--has too similar a name and background to hers; she seeks $75,000 for emotional distress. Amy Einhorn, whose eponymous imprint published the book, responded in a statement, "This is a beautifully written work of fiction, and we don't think there is any basis to the legal claims." The Help has sat on the New York Times best-seller list for almost 100 weeks.