Saturday, February 13, 2010

Book Review

I'm reading the best book right now! It's called The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It's set in Jackson Mississippi in the early 1960s. FYI - not a good time to be a black woman in Jackson Mississippi. A white woman comes home from college with a degree in journalism and decides to talk to the black maids that work for her parents and her friends and write a book about what it's like to work for Whitey. Drama ensues. That's all I'm going to tell you about it because I want you to read it.

It's especially interesting to me because when I was going to college at the University of North Dakota, I had a professor named John R. Salter Jr. It was an Indian Studies course but it was mostly about civil rights. He was in Jackson Mississippi and worked for the NAACP and was good friends with Medgar and Myrlie Evers. Dr. Salter wrote a book called Jackson Mississippi and it was required reading for the course. (Nice one, Professor!) It was a pretty good book and I still have it.

Dr. Salter in Jackson in 1963

I remember really liking the course and really liking Professor Salter, but on one of the last weeks of the semester he told us about a course he was teaching the next semester and it was all about how he and his son were abducted by aliens several years before, and how they were examined and given an injection, and then for several years after that they had physiological changes but I mostly remember that their feet grew a LOT bigger. I felt kind of bad after hearing that whole business about the alien abduction because I had a lot of respect for Dr. Salter up to that point, but after that I was afraid he might be crazy. Not because I don't believe in aliens because I do, (I saw a UFO flying over K-Mart in International Falls about 15 years ago. I'M TOTALLY SERIOUS) but teaching a course based on your "abduction" and subsequent foot-growing? Come on. That's kind of crazy.

Anyway, The Help is a very good book and I recommend it highly.

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