Twenty-Five Years Out from Telling Memories: Conversations Between Mary Yelling and Susan Tucker

Mary Yelling (left) and Susan Tucker (right) in conversation, September 2013, by Jane Tucker.

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Twenty-Five Years Out from Telling Memories: Conversations Between Mary Yelling and Susan Tucker

by Susan Tucker
Southern Cultures, Vol. 20, No. 1: The Help

"I am glad she used what the women told us and made something different from it. She made people listen. I know it is fiction, and I know not everyone liked it, but she made people not forget. What more can you want?"

For Telling Memories Among Southern Women, Mary Yelling interviewed about one-third of some 200 women who had the time and courage to talk to us about their memories of domestic workers and domestic work. As I said in the book, Mary’s part was essential. As an African American woman, she was able to gain trust with current and former domestic workers in our racially divided society much more quickly than I, a white woman, could.

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