A GONE WITH THE WIND PREQUEL

Mammy, the faithful slave in “Gone With the Wind,” may finally get her due — and a proper name. More than 75 years after the publication of Margaret Mitchell’s epic novel, a prequel with Mammy at its center is set for release this October.

The completed book, “Ruth’s Journey,” is the fictional telling of Mammy’s life. The story begins in 1804, when Ruth is brought from her birthplace, the French colony of Saint-Domingue, now known as Haiti, to Savannah, Ga. The Mitchell estate has authorized the prequel, written by Donald McCaig, the author of one of two authorized “Gone With the Wind” sequels, “Rhett Butler’s People,” from 2007.

Mitchell was criticized for the one-dimensional nature of many African-American characters in the book, particularly Mammy, who cared for the fiery Scarlett O’Hara. The new book addresses those criticisms head on.

The author shares, “Scarlett and Rhett are familiars, but when it comes to the third main character, we don’t know where she was born, if she was ever married, if she ever had children. Indeed, we don’t even know her name,” he said. “Ruth’s Journey” also fleshes out the story of Ellen Robillard O’Hara, the matriarch of the clan, who dies at the Tara during the War.

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