May 16 2007
St. Martin’s Press is publishing Rhett Butler’s People in the fall. SMP paid over $4 M for the rights to publish a sequel. The book has had three authors and extensive involvement by the estate of Margaret Mitchell. The estate demanded that the book contain no “acts or references to incest, miscegenation, or sex between two people of the same sex.” After some haggling, it appears that the most recent author, Donald McCaig, received the green light to include “a mintor interracial affair and a suggestion of homosexuality.”
The sequel is a retelling of the Gone with the Wind story from Rhett’s point of view, beginning with his childhood, including the development of his relationship with Belle Watling, and his experiences as a blockade runner.
The second author was Pat Conroy who jokingly said that he was going to start out the book with Rhett and Ashley in bed together. Now that would have been a sequel I would buy. McCaig’s version? Not so much