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Shelf life: Looking at secular books

The black maid from the Southern US States seems a bit of a stereotype. From Gone with the Wind to Tom and Jerry, she is hardworking, plain speaking, loyal and overweight. Kathryn Stockett, a white writer, has written this well-plotted and entertaining story The Help about the reality behind this stereotype and the culture of the deep South.

Secular Shelf Life Sarah Allen

By Kathryn Stockett
Penguin/Fig Tree. 451 pages. £12.99
ISBN 978-1-905-49043-1