Sunday, June 20, 2004

The Wind Done Gone by Alice Randall

A provocative literary parody that explodes the mythology perpetrated by a Southern classic. So says the cover, and it sure does, although it takes more than half the book to figure out who is who and what the hell is going on. Told in the form of a first person journal, the narrator is Scarlett O’Hara’s half-sister and a slave, who also loves Rhett Butler, has an affair with him and marries him after Scralett dies, and eventually leaves him for a black Congressman who she doesn’t marry but for whom she secretly has a baby. So secret in fact that her journal barely knows it happened, skipping over years in the last few pages and only dropping tiresome hints. I did not like this book. None of the Gone with the Wind characters are referred to by their names, but by code names—R for Rhett, The Other for Scarlett, The Dreamy Gentleman for Ashley Wilkes. Hey, Alice, I read Gone with the Wind—and liked it better than your book—but I don’t have the damn thing memorized. How about helping me out just a little in trying to decipher your work? I couldn’t tell who was who and which were white and which were black until over halfway through. Maybe that was the point? OK. Good point. Bad book.

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