Read The Wind Done Gone by Alice Randall Online


In this daring and provocative literary parody which has captured the interest and imagination of a nation, Alice Randall explodes the world created in GONE WITH THE WIND, a work that more than any other has defined our image of the antebellum South. Taking sharp aim at the romanticized, whitewashed mythology perpetrated by this southern classic, Randall has ingeniously coIn this daring and provocative literary parody which has captured the interest and imagination of a nation, Alice Randall explodes the world created in GONE WITH THE WIND, a work that more than any other has defined our image of the antebellum South. Taking sharp aim at the romanticized, whitewashed mythology perpetrated by this southern classic, Randall has ingeniously conceived a multilayered, emotionally complex tale of her own - that of Cynara, the mulatto half-sister, who, beautiful and brown and born into slavery, manages to break away from the damaging world of the Old South to emerge into full life as a daughter, a lover, a mother, a victor. THE WIND DONE GONE is a passionate love story, a wrenching portrait of a tangled mother-daughter relationship, and a book that "celebrates a people's emancipation not only from bondage but also from history and myth, custom and stereotype" (San Antonio Express-News)....

Title : The Wind Done Gone
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780618219063
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 224 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Wind Done Gone Reviews

  • Katie Hoyer
    2019-06-03 11:12

    I am amazed at the number of (white) readers here who cannot seem to let go of a deep seated desire for a Mammy of their own, for the romanticized dream of the Antebellum South. That is exactly the purpose of this book-- if you feel that Randall ruined your unadulterated love of Gone with the Wind, that was the point and you clearly missed it. And for those who say it was badly written, you baffle me. I find her prose to be beautiful, exciting, jarring, liturgical, lyrical, clear and misty all at once. It's different, and it's unexpected, and not always easy. It's so suited to the purpose it serves.Cynara is one of the most compelling, complex, and complete heroines I've encountered in a long time. I loved her. I loved the richness of all of the characters, new and old, crafted with care and consistency (yes, care, oh ye critics). I loved the nuances of color, the exploration of what it means to be one and/or other, the simultaneous revelation of the illusion/reminder of the reality of roots and race. Please, please read this. We need books like this so desperately. We need that revelation of illusion/that reminder of reality. We have not yet completed the Reconstruction.

  • Stephanie
    2019-06-15 08:01

    I received a copy of Gone With the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell, for my fourteenth birthday. On the dust jacket of my copy are printed the following review excerpts: “Nobody who finds pleasure in the art of fiction can afford to neglect...Gone With the Wind...a book of uncommon quality, a superb piece of storytelling...” (The New York Times; “...the best novel that has ever come out of the South. In fact, I believe it is unsurpassed in the whole of American writing” (Washington Post); “For sheer readability I can think of nothing it must give way before. Miss Mitchell proves herself a staggeringly gifted storyteller” (The New Yorker); and “Fascinating and unforgettable. A remarkable book, a spectacular book...” (Chicago Tribune). High praise indeed, from high authorities. And my aunt’s giving me the book for my fourteenth birthday is also high praise: she gave it to me as a book that she herself had read and loved, and as a book that justifiedly occupies its place in the American popular canon.And I agree with these reviews, with my aunt, and with the millions of readers who love Gone With the Wind. It is a tremendous book. It is a tragic epic, the story of a beautiful, charming, gifted and ambitious young woman, Scarlett O’Hara, who blindly uses her own gifts to further herself, unconsciously destroying that which she loves in the process. I wept for Scarlett and – I am surprising no one when I say that the book is against the backdrop of the Civil War and Reconstruction – for the other women, young and old, who lost the men they love. Scarlett is a spirited and intelligent heroine (for all her lack of knowledge) with whom I identified as a fourteen-year-old and again as a married woman with children of her own.But – and I suppose this will also come as no surprise to anyone, who, like me, identifies with Scarlett – I am white. Of course I, a white girl, can identify with Scarlett! Can a black girl – a spirited and intelligent black girl, a beautiful, charming, gifted and ambitious black girl – identify with Scarlett when Ms. Mitchell’s novel contains the ugliest racist language I have ever read in my life? It would be one thing if this ugly racist language were confined to the mouths and thoughts of Ms. Mitchell’s characters (after all, her characters are drawn from the slave-owning planter class of antebellum Georgia), but Ms. Mitchell’s omniscient narrator – occupying the place of God on high – spouts, by far, the worst and foulest racist sentiments in the whole book. The vicious racist sentiments by the omniscient narrator do, truly, diminish the power of this otherwise great book.And so what is a spirited and intelligent, beautiful, charming, gifted and ambitious black girl supposed to do with Gone With the Wind? How can she deal with such a wonderful heroine, and such a great book, that occupies so high a place in the American popular canon, when it speaks such ugly language to her, personally, and about her, particularly? Well, Alice Randall dealt with Gone With the Wind by writing The Wind Done Gone. The Wind Done Gone tells the story of Gone With the Wind – that is, the story of how one woman chose to act during the Civil War and Reconstruction, and her choices’ consequences – from the point of view of Scarlett’s half-sister, Cynara, the daughter of her planter father, Gerald O’Hara, and Mammy, the black slave. Ms. Randall faces head on not just Ms. Mitchell’s ugly racist language but also the fact that the only black characters to have a voice in Ms. Mitchell’s novel were happy and content in slavery, and were frightened and affronted by emancipation, and the fact that in Ms. Mitchell’s novel, the only white men to rape black women were Yankees, not white slave-owners. To tell Cynara’s story and make her points, Ms. Randall uses and renames Ms. Mitchell’s characters: Scarlett is “Other,” Rhett Butler is “R.B.,” Ashley Wilkes is “Dreamy Gentleman, Melanie is “Mealy Mouth,” Gerald O’Hara is “Planter,” Pork is “Garlic,” and Prissy is “Miss Priss,” and so on. Ms. Randall also refers to several events that take place in Ms. Mitchell’s novel, explains and gives background to several others, besides creating an independent, stand-alone narrative and story.So, then, what do you do if you are the Estate of Margaret Mitchell and Ms. Randall has just written and published The Wind Done Gone? Well, you sue for copyright infringement, of course! I don’t blame the Estate; it has to protect the brand. I’ve seen Scarlett O’Hara Barbie dolls and Christmas ornaments, and the Estate has licensed another author or two to write sequels to Gone With the Wind, etc. This is big money. The Estate sued in federal district court in Georgia, and the court found that Ms. Randall’s novel indeed infringed on the Estate’s copyright, and enjoined publication of Ms. Randall’s novel. Ms. Randall’s publisher appealed, and the case went to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.There are some court opinions that are well-nigh inspirational, when the court not only does what is so fundamentally, down-deep-in-your-bones the right thing, but also gives a well-reasoned, thoughtful basis for doing so. The opinion in Suntrust Bank v. Houghton Mifflin Co., 268 F.3d 1257 (11th Cir. 2001), is one of those opinions. The Court started its analysis with something that to me, not versed in intellectual property law, was quite extraordinary: “The Copyright Clause and the First Amendment, while intuitively in conflict, were drafted to work together to prevent censorship; copyright laws were enacted in part to prevent private censorship and the First Amendment was enacted to prevent public censorship.” Suntrust, 268 F.3d at 1263. Thus signaling from the beginning that it was not going to censor Ms. Randall’s novel, the Court went on to analyze the “fair use” defense to copyright infringement, which includes parody. And for purposes of the fair-use analysis, the Court defined “parody” as a work whose “aim is to comment upon or criticize a prior work by appropriating elements of the original in creating a new artistic, as opposed to scholarly or journalistic, work.” 268 F.3d at 1268-69. The Court concluded that “The Wind Done Gone is more than an abstract, pure fictional work. It is principally and purposefully a critical statement that seeks to rebut and destroy the perspective, judgments, and mythology of Gone With the Wind.” 268 F.3d at 1270. So concluding, the Court lifted the lower court’s injunction and let Ms. Randall’s publishers publish her book. And this conclusion of the Court’s begs the question that I myself was asking as I read Ms. Randall’s book: can this work stand alone, apart from Gone With the Wind? Could I read it without having read Ms. Mitchell’s book and figure out what is going on? Could I enjoy it? Is it, by itself, a good book? And the answer to all these questions is certainly “yes.” But would I have enjoyed it as much? No. The power in The Wind Done Gone is derived primarily from the fact that it is a potent criticism of such a tremendous work as Gone With the Wind. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

  • Daniel
    2019-06-02 08:21

    This book is not terrible, but it's pretty bad. While it raises some interesting questions, the plot twists and even some of the underlying assumptions are unrealistic. This was like fan fiction-- only the fan didn't actually like the original author. What's that? Fixation fiction?

  • Miss_otis
    2019-06-10 12:26

    I've always loved Gone With the Wind, I love alternate perspectives on a well-known story, and I loved the hell out of this. I adored seeing things from a slave's perspective, and I really liked having the blatant romaticizing of the era injected with a bit more reality, i.e.,white men having sex with slaves, selling off the resulting offspring, and generally acting as if the slaves weren't really people. Because yes. Yes, it happened, and if you think it didn't, you're dreaming. True, the lack of the GWTW character names' is a little distracting, and there are spots where it bogs down, but I think the story still works, despite those issues.Also, this isn't meant to be an actual parody; it was labeled a parody after the Mitchell estate started legal proceedings. Parodies don't require permission from the copywriter holder, therefore if the book was a parody, the Mitchell estate couldn't block publication.

  • Graceann
    2019-06-17 12:05

    I understand parody to contain humor of some fashion - there is nothing humorous about self-conscious, bad writing. Were we supposed to roll over laughing, holding our sides, at the conceit of calling Rhett Butler "Debt Chauffeur?" I hope not, because it's only an unsatisfying use of a thesaurus. Alice Randall had some interesting premises here: The idea that Ashley may have had a male lover in his past, or that Ellen O'Hara may have had a black person in hers... This could have been fascinating and such a page-turner, but in Randall's hands it's just self-satisfied show.I would have been thrilled to read a version of Gone with the Wind from the perspective of the slaves on the plantation. I'm a big fan of everything GWTW and have enjoyed, to some degree, all of the works that take the story as their starting point. Unfortunately, using it just to get publicity for a book which would never have been published without the connection is a disservice to the reader, and other writers. If it weren't for the Gone with the Wind controversy attached to this book, I don't believe it would have made it off of the reject pile at any reputable publisher. Badly written, badly edited and just plain bad. The only reason I gave it two stars rather than one is because the premise, a hidden diary kept by a slave on the plantation, was an interesting one. This could have been interestingly and cunningly explored, but to call something a parody because the name "Rhett Butler" is changed to "Debt Chauffeur" is incorrect. Use of a thesaurus does not constitute parody.

  • Tiffany
    2019-06-07 14:05

    The best testament of the worthiness of this book to be read is the extent to which the adoring fans of Gone With the Wind hate it. Margaret Mitchell romanticized slavery, rendered invisible the sexual and psychological violence of the institution, and portrayed slaves as thoughtless creatures wholly dependent upon white people for their survival. Don't get me wrong: I enjoyed the novel anyway. But with The Wind Done Gone, Alice Randall lays bare the aspects of slavery that Mitchell ignored by treating the slaves of Tara as thinking people with emotional lives of their own, and who had as much as an influence on the lives of their owners as the owners had on them. Some of the events may be disturbing and somewhat hard to believe, but they are inspired by the truth. White planters did father black children and sell them off, families with African blood did--and do--pass as white, and slavery was a demoralizing institution that restricted the lives of whites as well as blacks.

  • Jess Smoll
    2019-06-01 09:09

    The only book associated with Gone with the Wind that's as good or better than the original work. (Rhett Butler's People and Scarlett were both awful, awful, awful pieces of wish-fulfillment, bad characterization, jarring lack of continuity-- trashy fanfiction at its trashiest. And for some reason, published. WTF.) The Wind Done Gone, though disavowed by Mitchel's estate and available only with a massive "parody" warning label on it, is an excellent book, far truer to the original characters even while exploring a different, hidden, often darker side to their lives and personalities.(And since Goodreads reviewers don't understand the original meaning of the word "parody", let me pause here to define it: an imitative work which uses satire or irony to comment upon the original work. In other words, no, NOT ALL PARODIES ARE HUMOR. While we've come to expect parodies to lampoon or trivialize the original work, usually through humorous use satire, humor is in no way a required part of a parody. And with that clarified, I think I've now addressed all the unwarranted single-star reviews which dismiss this smart, interesting, lyrical book out of hand simply because the reviewer didn't understand the concept of non-humorous parody.)This is Tara seen from the inside, from the slave's perspective, through the eyes of Cynara-- "Other's" mulatto half-sister through her father, "Planter", and Mammy. The slaves parallel those in GwtW-- "Miss Priss"/Prissy, "Garlic"/Pork-- but instead of being one-dimensional caricatures they are unfolded and shown to have their own motivations and some ability to alter their own futures (though their white owners remain ignorant). Cleverly done and beautiful to read.

  • Simone
    2019-06-23 09:15

    I read Gone With the Wind exactly ten years ago and enjoyed it. I recently watched the film adaptation on a long haul flight, and this regenerated interest in the book. While doing some research online I came across The Wind Done Gone, lauded as the other voice. With all the controversy around it, I wanted to read it. And here are my thoughts:There is lot of inconsistency in the writing which makes it an incredible voice of a slave. In some places I'm unsure whether the lapses in language are typos, or quirks in Cynara's speech pattern. I kept wondering if the editor had gone on holiday.While some details are interesting, the story is mostly forced, contrived and far fetched. The characters are not true to what is known of them from Gone With the Wind. For example, it is unlikely that fiery Scarlett would not have confronted this girl, and banished her from Tara.And Rhett is a ghost of himself, and totally unbelievable relative to how we first knew him.Cynara isn't very likeable. She is bland and undeveloped. The story is all her stream of consciousness, and unfortunately her thoughts aren't very interesting. The reader is trapped inside her mind, and walled off from the other characters. I felt as if I were reaching out to grab at the clothes of familiar friends as they passed me by with cold indifference.I found the writing style pretentious with an overuse of abstruse metaphors. For example: "Now we slither around the ballroom. Am I the invisible feet of the snake? Or am I the horse prancing?" (p. 144)What?Randall would have done better to tell Cynara's story as it ran concurrent to Scarlett's.The endless and repetitive musings of the narrator and the absence of action make the story stagnant. This was all tell, no show.

  • Missy
    2019-06-02 08:09

    This book should be burned. I read reviews about how terrible it was but fell for it anyways because it is tied (unauthorized) to Gone with the Wind. It is clear that the author had issues. First, because she was not authorized by the Margaret Mitchell estate to write the book, most characters are referred to by initials only or nicknames: "R" (Rhett), "Other" (Scarlett). Second, she seems hung up on wanting all of the characters to have "black blood" in them, including Scarlett, Ellen, Philippe, etc...I am glad I borrowed the book and didn't waste my money on it. It is a quick read because she jumps around alot, uses basic words, with run-on sentences, and gives virtually no history of that time period. Must have been easy to make a few bucks by basically critiquing a masterpiece and peppering it with sexual induendoes and nonsense. I was wondering when Al Sharpton was going to be weaved into the mix somehow. This author should be ashamed of herself.

  • Brandi
    2019-06-16 15:01

    Good premise, poorly executed. The writing was poor quality, even taking into account the intentional errors due to the dialects and such. The story is boring, and it seems like the author wrote it only to make a point about race relations rather than adding to the GWTW legacy, using that to sell a book that would've been rejected from the beginning otherwise.

  • Christy
    2019-06-21 10:11

    Shocking and unapologetic, The Wind Done Gone is one author's imaginings of what really went on behind the scenes and in the slave quarters of that American South epic tragedy, Gone With the Wind through the eyes of Scarlett's half-sister, Cynara, who is a slave on Tara and who also happens to become Rhett Butler's long-time mistress. Reading it was not an enjoyable experience, specifically because it springboards from the GWTW story, skewing plot and characters in unpleasant directions that ring untrue against the original.While I do sincerely appreciate the creative effort and the story as it is on its own, I had particular dislike for what seemed to be rather hateful twists in known characters' personalities and actions, particularly in telling the story of the O'Hara family and their house slaves...Gerald and Ellen are almost unrecognizable and the slaves are transformed into Machiavellian masterminds. I think that Rhett Butler's People did a better job of leveling the playing field between black and white in the GWTW universe, stripping characters down to the truth behind their Southern gentility for the whites and their pride of class for the blacks, individuating where necessary to show the range of experience of both races during a particularly turbulent period of time.Ultimately The Wind Done Gone is more about shock, scandal and railing nastily against the admittedly one-sided story that Gone With the Wind is, than the telling of any person or race's story. While she would have received far less publicity, Alice Randall would have done better to separate her book entirely from GWTW and allow it to stand on its own as one beautiful slave woman's truthful account of her life before, during and after the Civil War.

  • Karla
    2019-06-01 15:24

    This book's publishing history is just a teeny tidge controversial, and I vaguely remember hearing something about at the time (2001). Because I procrastinate, I only recently got my butt around to actually reading it.So, just what made Margaret Mitchell's estate clutch their juleps and portieres after marching to court? (They weren't swooning enough to get their priorities ass-backwards.)Apart from someone daring to hop an uninvited ride on that GWTW gravy train, that is.Well, I'm guessing that what really snapped their garters, secondary to the profit-stealing chutzpah of Alice Randall, was the deliberate skewering/defamation of Mitchell's original characters.I don't really care about that. Have at it, Randall. She didn't cross a line in terms of having done it at all, but the hamfisted way in which she did it.((view spoiler)[Really, Mammy an infanticidal serial killer? Pork the real brains behind the drunken Irish massa (and a killer into the bargain)? Ellen O'Hara having slave blood, as well as her cousin Philippe also having black blood? And Belle Watling being into girls? And Prissy killing Melanie? And Melanie having Prissy's brother whipped to death because the guy slept with Ashley? Scarlett's half-black sister Cynara is the real love of Rhett's life? (hide spoiler)])Slow your iconoclastic roll, Randall.For legal purposes, it got labeled a parody. But that was what it read like: a broad, slapstick parody with all the characters put through a kitchen sink grinder. I was really expecting incisive and subtle satire, not a literary buffalo in a china shop.If you want the plantation genre ripped a new one, Django Unchained was far more well-done and entertaining. Randall instead foists a stream-of-consciousness rambling faux diary on the reader, and mangles well-known characters beyond all recognition or continuity.Disappointing.

  • Pamela
    2019-06-13 10:56

    I was so moved by the prose in this book! The Amazon review are FULL of haters! I have actually marked this book like it was a religious text so that I can go back and feel the words. I consider myself a wordsmith of sorts and I LOVE when they are strung together perfectly and this book does that. I met Alice Randall at the recent Book Club Conference in Atlanta and was intrigued and humbled by her spirit. I couldn't believe as a fan of Gone With The Wind, I had missed this book. I immediately got it from the library. I found it to be an interesting 'other view' of the story and combined with the original story gave the overall saga much more depth. As a woman of color, I desire to have some indication of how WE felt or how WE survived during these horrible times and she gave me that.The premise was as believable as the original - who said it only had to go that way? GOOD GOOD BOOK!! I applaud Mrs. Randall and now I need to buy this book. I'm ranking it up there in terms of words that truly moved me with "Manchild in the Promise land" "Message to the Blackman" and "Someone Knows My Name"

  • J. Yandell
    2019-06-13 11:00

    I found this loathsome. I always thought parody was supposed to be funny, but this parody falls under the less common definition of ridicule. I understand that GWTW is a novel flawed by its depiction of African Americans, but I choose to set aside that part of it as an unfortunate result of the time it was written and the bias of the author. But I can't help it -- I think GWTW is one of the best examples of pure storytelling magic, and what Alice Randall has done here is ugly, malicious and just plain... well, not very good writing. I hated this book so much that I didn't even want it on my bookshelf -- and I had gotten a first edition signed by the author at a local reading. I actually thought about burning it.

  • A. King
    2019-06-10 12:09

    It's clear that many of the reviewers don't know what 'parody' means. 'Parodies' do not simply have to be comedic. It is basically a spin on the original work. A lot of these people seem to be upset 'GWTW' fans that can't quite believe that someone is writing from the point of view of NOT Scarlett or Rhett. Pen your own if you want something that you think would be better. I'll review yours just as harshly. With that said, this isn't the greatest novel in the world, but it does manage to make a strong point. History is written from the view of the victors, and black people were not the victors of the Civil War. As a result, the stories of slaves and such are forgotten about and ignored, and it is stuff like GWTW that tend to be held up and championed by the masses. This book is designed to fill a void. It fills the void of people like me asking 'What about Mammy?'Planter [Gerald] slept with Mammy and gave birth to Cynara - Other's [Scarlett's] 3rd sister. Lady [Ellen] breastfed Cynara out of being upset about her husband's infidelity, and hiding the secret that she had a black ancestor. Cynara is eventually sold, and later ends up in Atlanta. She becomes a prostitute for Beauty [Belle Watling], and it is through Beauty that she comes across R. [Rhett Butler]. After R. leaves Other, he takes Cynara as his kept woman, though he and Cynara are at odds. She's merely a beautiful creature to him, and not a flesh-and-blood being. Cynara eventually leaves R. to marry a black man, and leaves Atlanta. The biggest championing of this novel is the fact that it gives some depth to the characters that were neglected by the novel - and it does it is a pretty matter-of-fact way. Miss Priss [Prissy] is resentful of Mealy Mouth [Melanie] for having her brother killed. Garlic [Pork] is believed to have something to do with Gerald's death so that he could gain Cotton Farm/Tata [Tara]. It begins to get a little haywire when some of the other ulterior motives are discussed - Dreamy Gentleman [Ashley] being gay, Beauty being a lesbian, Mealy Mouth having someone killed, etc. Randall doesn't manage to make the novel it's own - it follows only on the coattails of GWTW. The biggest problem of this book is that it jumps the shark from 'clever, probable and likely' to 'out and out hateful'.I rate it 3 stars because it is smart. It could, however, be smarter. It was apparently smart enough to disturb the Mitchell estate and countless white women who swear by GWTW.

  • Roopsi
    2019-06-08 07:05

    I had extremely low expectations for this revisting of Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind, having found both Scarlett and Rhett Butler's People less than pleasing. Alice Randall's novel, however, is both beautiful and perplexing. Although the cover bears the disclaimer "The Unauthorized Parody," there is nothing parodic about this book. (I think it fits a legal definition for "parody," though not a literary one.)The Wind Done Gone offers a version of Gone With the Wind from the perspective of Cynara, Scarlett's half-sister and the child of Gerald and Mammy. While offering some voices that went unheard in Mitchell's original, Randall also implies that the slaves at Tara (here: "Tata") had great agency despite their enslavement. Randall's novel invites the reader to share a sort of insider status with Tara's slaves while simultaneously distancing the reader through tropes and tricks including name changes. Other throws herself at Dreamy Gentleman, who must marry his cousin Mealy Mouth, but Dreamy Gentleman's true love is a young slave boy who was killed because they were discovered in flagrante delicto.While such plot inventions may garner laughs, the true weight of this novel is in the psychoanalytically rich relationships between Cynara and Other, Other's mother Lady and Cynara's mother Mammy, between Other and Mammy, Cynara and Lady, and of course Cynara and Mammy. I've looked for scholarship on this novel, but I haven't really found anything that really takes Randall's novel seriously in its own right. Its sense of play recalls Nabokov, while its writing evokes Jeanette Winterson. It is, in a sense, a luxurious novel that uses Gone With the Wind as a point of departure but becomes its own story, haunting and magnificent.

  • Judy
    2019-06-03 10:00

    I have not yet ever read Gone With the Wind, though I have seen the movie countless times. I have read Scarlett, Alexandra Ripley's supposed sequel and vaguely remember it. It's been seventeen years since I read it. The Wind Done Gone is a brilliant novel of imagination and truth concerning Cynara, daughter of Mammy and Mr O'Hara (the owner of Tara). Cynara was born in the same year as Scarlett. Through her diary we learn about her life, her relationship to Scarlett and Mammy and others from Gone With the Wind. Alice Randall is a woman of color who most recently published Rebel Yell. She is also an award winning songwriter, a screenwriter and journalist. Man, can she write! She first read Gone With the Wind at age twelve and began to wonder where were the mulatto children of Tara? This is her imagined answer. I love the title. I loved Cynara, her emotional journey, her strength and her wit. If you don't know the story of Gone With the Wind, you might not get how great is The Wind Done Gone. It would be worth reading both books or at least seeing the movie and then reading this lovely, intelligent, caustic novel.I did like The Help, but I would like a book about that period of history from a black woman's side of the story. Actually, Alice Randall did write part of it in Rebel Yell. Now I've got to go read her second novel, Pushkin and the Queen of Spades, while I hope she keeps writing novels for years to come.

  • Jennifer
    2019-06-14 08:01

    Before there was Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, or Little Women and Werewolves, there was The Wind Done Gone. Randall's book is really not so much a parody, as it tells a story that is parallel to the original, not a retelling, as it is a critique of Gone With the Wind. I think Randall's story is successful, as it is engaging, thought-provoking, and thoughtful.I cared about the main character, Cynara. She is like Scarlett in some ways, but her trip to Washington, D.C. provokes an awakening of social conscience that Scarlett could never experience.Randall's question, "Where were the mulatto children of Tara?" was one of the incidents that led her to write this book, and it is one question that I, as a white woman, had never asked myself. In fact, TWDG answers several questions about antebellum society I'd never thought to ask, as well as being pretty historically informed. Finally, Randall's choices for the names of most of the main characters are appropriate for the characters as seen from Cynara's perspective. I especially appreciated Cynara calling Scarlett "The Other," given that Cynara is in the position for which most literary analysts would use that label. The moniker not only exposes the relationship between the two women, it also gives rise to some speculation about how far removed from regular society Scarlett herself always was.I have steadfastly refused to read any Mitchell estate approved sequels, but I chose to read this one mostly because it gave the Mitchell estate fits and is a fresh way of approaching an American literary work that is dated in its attitudes.

  • Tera
    2019-06-23 15:06

    First off do not read this book and expect it to be a comedic parody. It's not. Being a fan of GWTW I am always anxious to read other books that relate to the original. This was so unique because of the perspective. The author used a diary format which I wasn't very fond. I wanted to know more about the characters. I wished for a richer description and narrative. The ending seemed rushed and anticlimatic. If you're into GWTW you should read it but it doesn't compare and should be read on it's on merits and not as a comparison.

  • Rachel Stevenson
    2019-06-22 14:08

    I've seen the film, but have not read Gone With The Wind. This novel is a rejoinder, a rebuttal, a reply from the fictional mixed-race daughter of Mammy and Mr O’Hara, telling the story of her life at Twelve Oaks on the Tara plantation and beyond. Language and naming are particularly important in this book, Twelve Oaks is called Twelve Slaves Strong as Trees, our heroine is christened Cinnamon (because she is sweet and spicy, or maybe because she is just another product of the plantation), nicknamed Cindy, she renames herself Cynara. Rhett Butler, with whom Cinnamon has a a book-long affair, is just R. (or Debt). Scarlett, Cinnamon’s half-sister, is Other (her light shadow?). Cinnamon doesn't find out her mother's true name until she dies: she is just Mammy. Cinnamon’s renaming echoes the owners giving their slaves their surnames, killing off the African names. Randall uses the antebellum language of the south: "He flatters me by claiming the superiority of my table and I reward him with an invitation to take a rest with me on the green velvet couch" mixed with black vernacular and utilitarian (but poetic) language – Cinnamon is a “fetchshawl” house servant, she talks of the “shoofly” curtain.The brutality of life for women and “coloureds” is reported in a matter of fact way. Working as a maid in a brothel, Cinnamon reports that plantation bosses rarely visit the whore-house as they have slaves to provide that function, and they prefer having sex with the pre-pubescent slaves in their charge – less bastards born that way.As with Beloved by Toni Morrison, it’s fascinating to find out what happened afterwards. Whereas the civil war is disastrous for Scarlett, it works out well for Cinnamon: after emancipation, she lives in a house in a coloured area with coloured shops, schools, pharmacies, undertakers, doctors, churches, even a university. Whereas segregation was quite rightly challenged in the 20th century, the fact that 8 years after the war ends, black people can go shopping is a source of pride to Cinnamon.Gone With The Wind's history is re-written. Despite their situation, the Tara plantation slaves are not downtrodden, they manipulate their masters and drug their mistresses, kill babies at birth and generally behave in a way that behoves their situation. It turns out that Scarlett O'Hara is 1/16th black – her great great grandmother on her mother's side was Haitian; this (revised) fact makes a mockery of the Southern one-drop rule and the different situations the two "mulatto" sisters find themselves in.

  • Lisa Crow
    2019-06-06 10:04

    I would love to read a good sequel to the original _Gone With the Wind_, but I have yet to find one. This is the worst one yet. In fact, I didn't even finish it. This is one of the most poorly written, self-indulgent, bits of dreck through which I have ever tried to wade. "Parody" is supposed to involve humour, but the clumsily constructed prose impedes the author's attempt to amuse. I suspect the only reasons this piece made it to bestseller status were 1) riding on the coattails of the actual Pulitzer winning novel on which it is supposed to be based and 2) the publicity granted it by the lawsuit brought by Margaret Mitchell's estate.Aside from the poor writing, it denies the reality created in the original novel by its very premise. The author of this slave diary is supposedly Scarlett's half sister by her father and Mammy. Gerald would NEVER have fathered a child with Mammy. Especially Mammy! As stated in the original book, she would have mumbled just loud enough for the white folks to hear all about it, even though they would have to pretend they didn't. He respected Ellen entirely too much and no way would that ever be part of Margaret Mitchell's vision of him, although I suppose it's possible he may have visited women like that Belle Watling in Atlanta, but it would have to be far enough away so that Mrs. O'Hara's feelings and pride could spared, certainly not in her own house or plantation! I can see Alexandra Ripley's version of Scarlett going to Ireland. I can even believe in the version of Rhett's childhood in _Rhett Butler's People_ because MM alludes to something like that in GWTW, but Gerald in the slave quarters? Nope, not buying it.The reader seeking a new take on a classic novel would be far better served by such offerings as _Pride and Prejudice and Zombies_ or _Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer_. _Wind Done Gone_ belongs on, not in print where people are tricked into paying for something that is not worth the ink to print or the time spent digitalizing.

  • Ashley W
    2019-06-10 07:25

    I thought this was a really interesting commentary on the interracial relationships in Gone With the Wind. Knowing that this book has to be known as a parody and not a serious critique of the novel seems criminal, especially since the one authorized sequel that I tried to read, Rhett Butler's People, sucks. It seems to me that Mitchell's estate simply does not want the myth of the "happy slave" to be criticized. The slavery days were not romantic at all and I can assure you that I find this book to be much more realistic than how the slaves acted in Gone With the Wind. The Wind Done Gone follows Cynara, the illegitimate daughter of Gerald O'Hara (Planter) and Mammy, and the half-sister of Scarlett (called Other) and her sisters. Though character names are not explicitly used, you can pretty much glean who is who. Through Cynara, we see the inner machinations of the slaves who are not as simple as Margaret Mitchell wrote them. They are complex characters and it is revealed some of them did what they had to in order to survive. I love that Mammy's role and even Prissy's (Miss Priss)is expanded. In fact, I would have liked to know more about them than have the novel focus on Cynara's relationship with Rhett. Their relationship actually dragged down the book for me. I found their relationship weird, especially since it started when she was a teen and his slave and he was in his thirties. It also seemed that she was just a replacement of Scarlett for him because she is her sister. I also wish that this book would have explained more about Cynara's life during the war more parallel to Scarlett's. There were some missing moments that I totally felt should have been in the novel but the opportunity was missed. I so wanted there to be a showdown between Scarlett and Cynara but there wasn't. All in all, this was a pretty interesting book and I really liked it, but I feel like so much more could have been done with it.

  • Melle
    2019-05-30 15:12

    I had to suspend my pure and unadulterated love for Gone with the Wind to enjoy The Wind Done Gone and its wry and beautiful upending of a treasured body of work to make some biting and poignant social statements on race, on relationships, on slavery, on the South. Part of me wanted to hate this book and its protagonist Cynara; that part of me was holding on to white privilege and to a closed-minded and unquestioned literary-and-film tradition. This book claims to be an "unauthorized parody," but that cheapens what it really is -- a bold statement of the realities and paradoxes of slavery, class, and race in the old South using a cultural touchstone and turning it upside down to offer us a different perspective, a harsher and more critical perspective. If you have trouble reading this and trying to reconcile it with a beloved book or film, don't despair or give up. Please come back to it later with an open mind and open heart.

  • Tabitha
    2019-06-15 07:19

    I'm moving this book off of my "currently reading" shelf because, after the first several chapters I realized I will not finish this book. The fragmented and schizophrenic writing made the storyline virtually non-existent. The characters of this book do not reflect those in Gone With The Wind in any shape or form, and were it not for the book's billing as an "unauthorized" account of the GWTW world and its inevitable controversy, I would never had know of The Wind Done Gone's attempted relationship to Mitchell's novel. Its unfortunate because I think the premise is so good, and has potential to move beyond the shortcomings of GWTW. The Wind Done Gone, however, takes a creative idea and promptly negates its promise by incredibly bad writing, awful character development...and more bad writing. It is a truly horrific book.

  • Jan
    2019-05-30 11:25

    This book takes the story of Gone With the Wind and gives it a rapid neck twist, killing it forever. Instead, the story that will remain with you is THIS story, the story of Mammy's daughter Cynara, who is Rhett Butler's lover. Randall renames the main characters of GWTW from the perspective of her main character, with Scarlett as the Other, the other child who has sucked all of Mammy's love and attention away from Cynara. This is a spirited and vivid re-imagining of Gone With the Wind, much as Wide Sargasso Sea does with Jane Eyre. It makes Mitchell's historical "fantasy" look pallid in comparison.

  • Ginny
    2019-06-09 14:56

    This is Gone With the Wind from the point of view of the slaves. I love the idea and this could have been great. Instead it had a strange tone. I also found it annoying that the main character (Scarlett's half-sister by her father and Mammy) always referred to the original GWTW characters by her own names - seemed like a cheesy way to get around copyright infringement.

  • Halley Sutton
    2019-06-03 07:03

    What an odd book! Fascinating. Interesting. Didn't love it as a book. Thought it was a great critique of Gone With the Wind.

  • Rachel
    2019-06-19 07:19

    Horrible, horrible, horrible.

  • Commodore
    2019-06-22 15:21

    There are spoilers for Gone with the Wind in this review, but let's be honest: there's no way you didn't read this book without reading Gone With the Wind first (or at least seeing the movie.)I enjoyed this book so much more once it had gotten away from Gone With the Wind, once Scarlett and Mammy had died and Rhett and Cynara had gone away from Tara and even Atlanta. In Washington, Cynara faces much more difficult, introspective questions about herself and her choices. Those parts and the parts to do with the complicated relationships of four women growing up (Mammy, Cynara, Scarlett, and Ellen) are moving and truly heart-breaking at times. If the book had jettisoned the Gone With the Wind premise completely, I probably would've enjoyed it much more than I did. As it was, I was rolling my eyes pretty frequently for the first third of the book. Thank God Randall didn't try to go through Mitchell's 1,000+ page epic one-to-one or I never would've finished this book.Frankly, the only reason to tie it in to Gone With the Wind is for the built-in readership it gives her. With the connection to this other famous novel, she already has two types who will read the book: those who hated Gone With the Wind for its rosy, white-washed (heh) depiction of the South and the Confederacy, and those who loved that book and are willing to read this book just so they can defend the former.And to reiterate, the worst parts of the book were easily the ones that tied heavily back to Gone With the Wind. I don't care if it's the most salient point ever to be made, I hate being preached to through books. I hate it when characters' actions are obviously motivated by some point the author is trying to ram down your throat. It makes them seem like paper dolls the author is simply moving around, rather than a story that needs to be told about people who are real.No, seriously. Every major thing a character in Gone with the Wind did (Pork designed Tara after secretly cheating to allow O'Hara win the land and himself in a card game), didn't do (the reason none of the O'Hara boys lived was Mammy killed them all), or should've done (Cynara comforts Rhett after Bonnie's death instead of Scarlett) was actually masterminded by one of Tara's former slaves in this book. If it had been a few of the events, it would've been really interesting, but it was literally every fucking thing. And God don't get me started on Melanie. Randall had a chance to portray a character who was kind but still subject to the privileges of her time, and she blew it off to make her a secret sociopath who had a male slave beaten to death because he slept with her husband. And then turned out to be killed by Prissy, who is some kind of Obfuscating Stupidity mastermind.At the same time I can argue for this book's right to exist, so to speak. There are dozens of books that are lauded as classics (and many more that aren't but are still well received) that treat Black people, or women, or other groups as lesser or inferior, and get a complete pass from people because "that's just how it was then." So Randall write a book where every major event or decision from another book made by the main characters was actually masterminded by their slaves, and it turns out most of the gentile southern families secretly have Black ancestors that they're desperate to hide. I'm just going to think it's a little stupid and preachy, is all.Bottom line for me? I call it Anvilicious, but I can accept someone arguing that Some Anvils Need to be Dropped.

  • Michelle
    2019-06-10 08:15

    I picked this up after my Uber driver told me he was writing a food book with a Vanderbilt professor, and described the copyright controversy around her most famous book. Having read Gone with the Wind (albeit a long, long time ago), I was vaguely intrigued by the idea of reading the story from a slave perspective. Having read a few pieces of fan fiction masquerading as literature before, however, I also didn't have grand expectations for its execution. Alas, my hesitations were justified, though not in the ways I expected. Most prominently, the story simply wasn't interesting. It was told from the perspective of Scarlett's supposed half-sister, illegitimate child of her father and Mammy, in diary form. Yawn. Diary form has rarely intrigued me, though it seems to hold endless fascination for writing instructors. Whether because of the form she chose or simply general lack of mastery, Randall struggles to bring action into the plot. The story takes place after Rhett leaves Scarlett, and we're supposed to believe that he leaves her for her half-sister, whom we're supposed to believe is clever and witty, though Randall presents precious little evidence of it. Cynara's pretty boring for a main character, and the plot consists of her jealousy that Mammy was closer to Scarlett than to her, her wanting Rhett's love to spite Scarlett, and her meeting a black congressman she wants more than Rhett. I know, it doesn't sound like a plot, does it?The rest of the book's substance is a series of increasingly hard-to-believe revisions to the story of Gone with the Wind. First, we're supposed to believe that Gerald/Planter slept with and had a child with Mammy. Fine, I'm with you--tons of examples of this happening in real life. Then we're supposed to believe that it was actually Gerald's first slave, Pork/Garlic, who arranged for him to meet his wife Ellen, whom he knew through her slave Mammy. Okay, still not too far fetched; many people have probably been brought together through the relationships of their servants or slaves. Then we're supposed to believe that Pork was actually the one who got Gerald rich in the first place by getting his original owner drunk while they were gambling, and arranged to be wagered and won by Gerald, so that he would have a master whom he could control, and that he has been plotting all these years so that he would end up in charge of everything. Hmm, starting to feel that this is a bit of a fantasy world, where coincidences are not chance but Machiavellian plotting and where no one is what he seems. Then, for the cherry on the sundae, we are told that Melanie--sweet old Melanie--had a slave beaten to death and the trauma made Prissy simple, and that Mammy and Pork killed all of Ellen's baby boys so that there would be no threat to their running the place. Wow, Randall has really gone off the deep end. If one or two of these things had happened, I might have believed it, but this deluge of black-power revisions sounds more like a conspiracy theory than a novel. Randall had the opportunity to create a thought-provoking response to a white-centric novel, but she squandered it with her heavy hand.