Monday, September 05, 2011

If you're interested in the history of publishing, read this

You don't need to be a die-hard fan of GONE WITH THE WIND by Margaret Mitchell to enjoy this book.  It's an amazing narrative of the publication history of the most popular book of the 20th century.  I was stunned to learn how much publishing has changed in the last 80 years (mostly for the better if you can believe that!)

This book is a compelling story about a compelling story.  I found it purely by serendipity, and as far as I can tell no one else has it in their libray at LibraryThing.  That means Not Enough People Have This Book!

You should!


SundaySoup said...

Someone I know just read this book and recommended it too. Maybe the writer Eileen of my friends, anyway. I meant to add it to my list then, but will do it now. Thanks for the reminder!

Gabryyl said...

Have to get this. Friend of my mother's was at the film opening in Atlanta (he was a Boy Scout - they got to hold the velvet ropes)and is still obsessed with the book and the film. Thanks for finding this (and just in time for Christmas)!

Robin Ruinsky said...

I've never understood the cult like devotion some people have to Gone With the Wind.

I mean I like a musical as much as anyone:

"People, people who own people
Are the luckiest people in the world.
They're children owning other children
And yet Civil War aside
They still have their Confederate Pride
Owning men and women and children

Slave owners are very special people
They're the luckiest people in the world
with one Mammy, one very special mammy
A feeling deep in your soul
Says you own people body and soul
No lifting a finger or wrist
Because you're a person who owns people
People who own people
Are the luckiest people in the world"

I know, I know. I'm being harsh. Scarlett only owns people in the first half of the book.

Loree Huebner said...

The author side of Margaret Mitchell is a very interesting story to read...all the way from writing GWTW to her tragic death.

She had one great story in her. She wrote it. The novel earned her a Pulitzer. Her book was timely(as well as the movie) and struck a cord with the WWII generation and beyond. Not easy to top that.

JS said...

Scarlett only owns people in the first half of the book.

But in the second half, Ashley is a proud founder of the Ku Klux Klan!

I cannot even with that book. The extra hunks of racism tossed in here and there just to make sure the book is racist enough (for instance, the whole scene where Scarlett is rescued from Scary Black Men Who Probably Want to Rape Her by Rhett Butler, or the long sermon from Ashley about how Reconstruction is so terrible) are not only nauseating, but hideously boring.

The movie is so much better than the book, because it focuses on the characters, which was Mitchell's strength (except for the aforementioned "Ashley being a charter member of the KKK" which seems off for his character as well as repulsive in general).

I do hope this book will dispense with the myth that GWTW was rejected by tons of publishers!

JS said...

On the "publishing has changed a lot, mostly for the better" thing, I was just thinking the same last night while reading the newest bio of J.D. Salinger!

Robin Ruinsky said...

I don't see Gone With the Wind as a timely novel. It's a product of a time when an author could get away with romanticizing a brutal time in United States history.
Mitchell grew up in and lived in the Jim Crow South. Maybe it's why she could write about the Klan as if they were gallant saviors of white Southern womanhood and depict happy slaves who later become happy servants.
That it won a Pulitzer Prize is inconsequential. They've been known to make mistakes before and since.

Terri Lynn Coop said...

Cool! I love this type of history story-behind-the-story and will be hunting it down. As for GWTW, I've been known to read books about the Holocaust, the Crusades, the firebombing of Dresden, Soviet Gulags, the Inquisition and purposeful use of plague to exterminate indigenous peoples, not to mention serial killers and zombies. The oppressed seldom won. Yet, I lived to tell about it with my ideals intact. It. Is. A. Story.

Eileen said...

I did recommend this book! Perhaps people will listen more to you. It's a great read. I was really interested in all the foreign copyright stuff- but then again I'm a bit of a geek.

Alison said...

Thanks for promoting this...I work for the publishing company that published this book!

Kristin Laughtin said...

Oh sweet! The library where I work has it, which means I can check it out all the more easily!