Monday 25 July 2016

Gone with the Wind Sat Under a Sofa in Atlanta

The apartment house where Margaret Mitchell stored her manuscript under the sofa courtesy

It sat under her sofa to replace a broken leg for years.  No one knew about it until the owner's friend scoffed at her that she had written a book.  "You, write a book?"  It was all the impetus the writer needed.  A man came through town looking for manuscripts to publish and she presented him with hers.  The man took it with him to read on the train to New Orleans.  At his next stop, he sent the 1000-page manuscript to New York City to be considered for publication.  Margaret Mitchell was promptly offered a contract for Gone with the Wind (

Even after it was published, Mitchell's book had its fair share of detractors.  New York Times critic Ralph Thompson complained that it had an "absurd plot", that it was written from "no particular point of view" and that it should be cut down to 500 pages.  Other critics pointed to the book's portrayal of blacks "as creatures of small intelligence".  Think of the wide-eyed maid Mammy who seems to scream an awful lot in the movie (

Another obstacle facing Mitchell was the Great Depression.  The author was worried that the book's $3.00 price tag would discourage the average American from buying it.

Despite the apparent obstacles it faced, Gone with the Wind was an immediate success.  Within the first six months, the book had sold 1 million copies.  In 1937, the manuscript that collected dust under Mitchell's couch for years, earned her the Pulitzer Prize.

Gone with the Wind, still in print after 80 years, has been translated into 30 languages courtesy

No comments:

Post a Comment