Margaret Mitchell Gone with the Wind

ISBN 13: 9780446365383

Gone with the Wind

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9780446365383: Gone with the Wind

Spoiled Southern belle Scarlett O'Hara never stops loving the married Ashley Wilkes even as she faces the hardships of life during the Civil War and the changes brought about by Reconstruction. Reprint.

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About the Author:

Margaret Mitchell Marsh
1900 - 1949

Born in Atlanta in 1900, Margaret Mitchell grew up surrounded by relatives who told endless tales of the Civil War and Reconstruction. She knew those who were relics of a de-stroyed culture, and those who had put aside gentility for survival. Her mother instilled in her that education was her only security. She attended Smith College but had to come home when her mother fell ill. After her mother's death, Margaret resolved that she had to make a home for her father and brother, so she left college and returned to Atlanta.

In 1923, she became a feature writer for the Atlanta Journal, and in 1925, she married John Marsh, a public relations officer for Georgia Power. She found most of her assignments unfulfilling, and she soon left to try writing fiction more to her own taste. Her own harshest critic, she would not try to get her work published. She began to write Gone with the Wind in 1926, while recovering from an automobile accident. Over the next eight years she painstakingly researched for historical accuracy.

She accumulated thousands of pages of manuscript. Here is how she later described her life's labor: "When I look back on these last years of struggling to find time to write between deaths in the family, illness in the family and among friends which lasted months and even years, childbirths (not my own), divorces and neuroses among friends, my own ill health and four fine auto accidents ... it all seems like a nightmare. I wouldn't tackle it again for anything. Just as soon as I sat down to write, somebody I loved would decide to have their gall-bladder removed. ... "

In 1934, an editor from Macmillan's Publishers came to Atlanta seeking new authors. He was referred to John and Margaret Marsh as people who knew Atlanta's literary scene. She steered him to several prospects, but didn't mention her own work. A friend told him that she was writing a novel, but she denied it. On the night before he was to leave Atlanta, she appeared at his hotel-room door with her still imperfect, mountainous manuscript and left it with him for better or for worse.

The rest of the story is well-known

Review:

"Beyond a doubt one of the most remarkable first novels produced by an American writer. It is also one of the best." -- The New York Times

"The best novel to have ever come out of the South...it is unsurpassed in the whole of American writing." -- The Washington Post

"Fascinating and unforgettable! A remarkable book, a spectacular book, a book that will not be forgotten!" -- Chicago Tribune

"Gone with the Wind is one of those rare books that we never forget. We read it when we're young and fall in love with the characters, then we watch the film and read the book again and watch the film again and never get tired of revisiting an era that is the most important in our history. Rhett and Scarlet and Melanie and Ashley and Big Sam and Mammy and Archie the convict are characters who always remain with us, in the same way that Twain's characters do. No one ever forgets the scene when Scarlet wanders among the wounded in the Atlanta train yard; no one ever forgets the moment Melanie and Scarlet drag the body of the dead Federal soldier down the staircase, a step at a time. Gone with the Wind is an epic story. Anyone who has not read it has missed one of the greatest literary experiences a reader can have." -- James Lee Burke, bestselling author of The Tin Roof Blowdown

"I first read Gone with the Wind in grade school--a boy of the upper South who'd seen the great movie and felt compelled to learn what lay behind it, all thousand-plus pages worth. No page disappointed me. What other American novel surpasses its eagerness to tell a great story of love and war; what characters equal the cantankerous passions of Scarlett and Rhett? Even Scott Fitzgerald spoke well of it. What more could I ask, even seven decades later?" -- Reynolds Price

"In my own personal life, I find many similarities to Scarlett's: The whole 17-inch waist thing notwithstanding, I do love a barbecue, both for the food and the men--I have been known to "eat like a field hand and gobble like a hawg"--I admit that at least on one occasion I may have feigned interest in some guy to further my own interests--I have fought tooth, toenail and tirelessly for my family--I learn slow but I learn good--and even so, I still adore the prospect of dealing with most things...Tomorrow." -- Jill Conner Browne, The Sweet Potato Queen, bestselling author of The Sweet Potato Queens' First Big-Ass Novel

"In 1936 I was in E.M. Daggett Junior High in Ft. Worth, Texas. By some chance I was able to read Gone with the Wind early on. Then and now, I found it one of the great experiences of a young life. I still list it as one of my 10 favorite books." -- Liz Smith, nationally syndicated columnist

"Not just a great love story, Gone with the Wind is one of the most powerful anti-war novels ever written. Told from the standpoint of the women left behind, author Margaret Mitchell brilliantly illustrates the heartbreaking and devastating effects of war on the land and its people." -- Fannie Flagg, Academy Award nominated-author

"Let's say you've read Gone with the Wind at least twice, and seen the movie over and again. So, here's a thought. Buy this handsome paperback edition, just for Pat Conroy's preface. This passionate, nearly breathless love letter is a Song of Solomon to Margaret Mitchell, Scarlett O'Hara, and Conroy's beautiful, GTW-obsessed mother. Indeed, his luminous preface packs a durable wallop, just like the epic Pulitzer prize-winning work that inspires it." -- Jan Karon, author of The Mitford Years series

"GWTW is an indelible portrait of a unique time and place, American's greatest political and moral conflict, and the myths that surround it -- an all absorbing spectacle of a read even for postmodern readers. Mitchell vividly portrays the disillusionment and devastation of war, the ignorance of the uninitiated, and the transformation of arrogance into tenacity that shaped the first "new South." All the details of history and place come together as a rich backdrop for those unforgettable characters: shallow and selfish Scarlett, sincere Melanie, moony-eyed Ashley, and the sage, pragmatic, dashing, and rakish Rhett Butler--the most enduring heartthrob of American literature has produced. I'd reread the book for the thrill of Rhett alone!" -- Darnell Arnoult, author of Sufficient Grace

"For sheer readability I can think of nothing it must give way before. Miss Mitchell proves herself a staggeringly gifted storyteller."
--The New Yorker

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