Covertly and with no acknowledgment of the error regarding Medgar Evers in the hard cover version of the novel, Kathryn Stockett’s publisher has finally corrected this line:
“. . . Afraid they’ll be beaten like Louvenia’s grandson, or, hell, bludgeoned in their front yard like Medgar Evers.”
The latest edition of The Help now reads, at least according to this poster (pay no mind to the typo “beated” it should read “beaten”):
I can’t say which formats were corrected because the poster who wrote the post didn’t say. My guess is the Kindle or ebook editions
and the paperback version, since they were released later.
So is this finally the end of it?
Oh HELL NAW.
Now that they’ve altered the text without offering any explanation (an apology to readers was out of the question, I’m sure) I’m still going to keep bringing it up.
The assumption that he was “shot to death” is a bit misleading, since it was publicly reported that Evers was still fighting for life in the hospital and didn’t die at the scene. Just like John F. Kennedy wasn’t immediately pronounced dead and doctors were trying to save his life after his shooting. I’m aware many would say why even quibble over it, that the change has finally been made, and remember what’s more important here is that Evers was never “bludgeoned” to death.
Yes, I totally agree. But still . . .
It shows just how little the publisher thought of addressing the error. And of course there was no chance the copies with the error still intact would get pulled off shelves. That would be highly embarrassing, and also cost far too much money.
The easiest thing to do was to just ignore it, until later editions were scheduled to be printed for ebook downloading and in paperback. And I’m fairly certain forthcoming hard covers will have the error fixed.
Just so long as their coveted reader base didn’t complain, then I guess it was all about pretending it didn’t exist or matter. Until it did.
In truth, some readers may have skimmed over the section that I’ve been complaining about for over a year. In 2010 a reader who lives in the UK was kind enough to answer my inquiry on whether her copy also contained the error:
So even the hard copies released later overseas contained the error.
And I’ve been informed that the hard copy version with the error intact was still being sold in the U. S. as of five months ago. I also wonder if any of the audio versions contain the error.
I understand that snafu’s happen and the wrong text can make its way into the best of novels, even those with major publishers.
Only. . .
With the publisher simply ignoring it, as if the error meant nothing, well that’s just part of the problem.
Because there’s more to this story.
Like how Kathryn Stockett repeats that Evers was “bludgeoned in his front yard” in not one, not two, but THREE known audio interviews (which are available for download and still on the web).
It won’t be so easy to edit or ignore those, especially with one of the interviews on the Barnes and Noble website.
Which brings up a number of troubling questions.
Stockett rode a wave of goodwill because she was from the south, is a talented writer and spoke lovingly of her former maid, which equated to credibility in the minds of many. The novel became a bestseller even with the controversy over the depiction of her black characters.
But was Evers shocking murder even part of the original manuscript?
A simple google search would have given the author an accurate answer on how Evers died. Yet Stockett couldn’t recall her own research or text which describes both Aibileen and Minny’s terrified and anguished reaction to his shooting, instead repeating that Evers was “bludgeoned.”
Stockett is a native of Jackson, Mississippi and Medgar Evers is not only a local hero, but a historic figure in the fight for freedom and equality. Evers was a civil rights icon, a man who died fighting for what he believed in.
Then how could Stockett get it so wrong, especially when her responses sound rehearsed?
And did the interviewers even realize the author had made a mistake?
And no, these interviews weren’t back to back on the same day.
For the links to the audio interviews and excerpts where Stockett verbally repeats the error in the hard cover version of the novel, click here: