The faithful slave in “Gone With the Wind” is set to be revived in a prequel.
The work comes more than 75 years after the publication of the novel by Margaret Mitchell.
The completed book, “Ruth’s Journey,” is the fictional telling of the life of one of the novel’s central characters, a house servant called Mammy who otherwise remains nameless. The story begins in 1804, when Ruth is brought from her birthplace, the French colony of Saint-Domingue that is now known as Haiti, to Savannah, Ga. The Mitchell estate has authorized the prequel, which was written by Donald McCaig, the author of one of two authorized “Gone With the Wind” sequels, “Rhett Butler’s People,” from 2007. (The other was “Scarlett” by Alexandra Ripley, released in 1991.) “Gone With the Wind” won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1937 and has sold hundreds of millions of copies.
Two-thirds of the 416-page book are in third person, and the last portion is told in Ruth’s old dialect. The film version of “Gone With the Wind” has been highly criticized for its depiction of blacks.
Last week, students at Cambridge University succeeded at cancelling a “Gone With the Wind” themed ball scheduled for this spring.
Atria Books acquired the rights to the new book.
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