Why did no one tell me that the Mitchell estate had commissioned another GWTW book? I had to find out on the streets. In a grocery store. Since I was not forewarned, I had to pick it up and look at it, to establish what it was.
I feel so dirty.
I came home and googled it, and it looks as if a 'real' writer got the job this time... but it's a man. And not just a man, but a man who had, in fact, never read the original before he was hired.
Firstly, no one should ever have tried writing an authorised sequel/prequel or anything else. Unauthorised? Fine. Make with the fanfic, paid and otherwise. But slapping a label on it and calling it the "authorised" companion book doesn't mean a damn thing; it is NOT Margaret Mitchell. I view Ripley's "Scarlett" as very expensive (and not very well written) fanfic. This new book is just very expensive, slightly better written fanfic. "Gone With the Wind" is a classic piece of American literature; it may be THE "Great American Novel." So... if the idea is to pay someone to render up well written fanfic on the subject... perhaps the best start might have been to hire someone who, erm... knew and loved the book? Not just the period, but the book itself, and its characters?
Of course, it might be harder to find willing participant writers among the book's fanbase- since most of them (like myself) are a) satisfied with the book's original ending, and b)view Margaret Mitchell as something of a literary deity and personal saint. Walk a mile in those writerly slippers? No, thank you. I lack for sufficient hubris.