A Prequel To Gone With The Wind Is Coming
I’ve never quite understood why readers would be interested in a sequel (or prequel) written by someone other than the original novel’s author.
Essentially, it’s glorified fan fiction. I could go out and write 300 pages of a novel called 1985 but how would I, or anyone, really know if George Orwell would bless such a sequel.
All that to tell you that an authorized prequel to Gone With The Wind will be released in October. The prequel, written by Donald McCaig, is called Ruth’s Journey. The story will focus on Mammy, who has been given the name “Ruth” by McCaig, and her journey from Haiti to Georgia.
McCaig has made a career out of the Gone With The Wind story. He wrote an authorized prequel called Rhett Butler’s People in 2007. The only other authorized prequel or sequel to Gone With The Wind was the much-pooped-upon Scarlett sequel, written by Alexandra Ripley, in 1991.
Atria Books, which is an imprint of Simon & Schuster, will publish Ruth’s Journey. According to Peter Borland, editorial director at Atria Books:
“What’s really remarkable about what Donald has done is that it’s a book that respects and honors its source material, but it also provides a necessary correction to what is one of the more troubling aspects of the book, which is how the black characters are portrayed,” Mr. Borland said.
I understand people will buy the book, and I understand the desire to read more about the story. But why can’t we just let the story rest? Margeret Mitchell published everything she felt led to publish about the Gone With the Wind story.
This is like painting a mullet on the Mona Lisa and calling it “art.” Okay, maybe that’s harsh. But it’s like taking that painting and adding something to it, like a second person or a cheesy Thomas Kincade lighted barn in the background.
Respect the art, man. Respect the art.