It's the highest-grossing movie of all time, and now "Gone With the Wind" is getting a prequel -- in book form, anyway.
The New York Times reports that a new novel, called "Ruth's Journey," will debut in later this year and tell the story of "Wind"'s Mammy character, played by Oscar winner Hattie McDaniel in the 1939 film adaptation of Margaret Mitchell's 1936 book. Mammy was the slave owned by Scarlett O'Hara's family, known for her loyalty and her quick wit.
Author Daniel McCaig, who wrote "Ruth," told the Times that there are "three major characters in 'Gone With the Wind,' but we only think about two of them."
"Scarlett and Rhett are familiars, but when it comes to the third, we don't know where she was born, if she was ever married, if she ever had children," McCaig said. "Indeed, we don't even know her name."
The prequel, will finally correct that oversight, tracing Mammy/Ruth's life from birth to her arrival at Tara. The novel has been authorized by Mitchell's estate, just the third time that a "Wind" spin-off book has been officially sanctioned. McCaig also previously penned a "Wind" sequel called "Rhett Butler's People." Another sequel, "Scarlett" by Alexandra Ripley, came out in 1991.
Representatives from Atria, which will publish "Ruth," said the book will "flesh out" the Mammy character and make amends for the racist overtones in Mitchell's book. "Ruth" "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," said Peter Borland, Atria's editorial director.
The book is due out in October.
[h/t The Dissolve]
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