Atlanta Life and Culture

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Novel about 'Gone With the Wind's' Mammy in stores Tuesday

It's the indefatigable Scarlett O'Hara of books: "Gone With the Wind" continues to sell about 75,000 copies annually, more than three-quarters of a century after it first brought fame and fortune (and a Pulitzer Prize) to Atlanta author Margaret Mitchell.

And now comes another authorized sequel, the second by acclaimed Civil War novelist Donald McCaig (“Rhett Butler’s People” came out in 2007). Actually, “Ruth’s Journey” (Atria Books, $26), which arrives in bookstores Tuesday, is mostly a prequel. And, McCaig suggests, a much-needed fleshing out of one of the original book’s “three major characters” — the O’Hara clan’s indispensable, tough love-dispensing “Mammy.”

Much of Ruth’s backstory is McCaig’s creation. But familiar characters and events from “Gone With the Wind” show up in ways that help explain her gradual progression toward her life at Tara.

Before McCaig appears Oct. 17 at the Literary Center at the Margaret Mitchell House, check out our story about "Ruth's Journey" here.

Donald McCaig will discuss “Ruth’s Journey” at 7 p.m. Oct. 17. $10. The Literary Center at the Margaret Mitchell House, 990 Peachtree St., Atlanta. 404-249-7015,

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About the Author

Jill Vejnoska has spent two decades as a news and features reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.