The Wind Done Gone Audiobook on CD Unabridged

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In this daring and provocative literary parody which has captured the interest and imagination of a nation, Alice Randall explodes the world created in GONE WITH THE WIND, a work that more than any other has defined our image of the antebellum South. Taking sharp aim at the romanticized, whitewashed mythology perpetrated by this southern classic, Randall has ingeniously conceived a multilayered, emotionally complex tale of her own - that of Cynara, the mulatto half-sister, who, beautiful and brown and born into ...
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In this daring and provocative literary parody which has captured the interest and imagination of a nation, Alice Randall explodes the world created in GONE WITH THE WIND, a work that more than any other has defined our image of the antebellum South. Taking sharp aim at the romanticized, whitewashed mythology perpetrated by this southern classic, Randall has ingeniously conceived a multilayered, emotionally complex tale of her own - that of Cynara, the mulatto half-sister, who, beautiful and brown and born into slavery, manages to break away from the damaging world of the Old South to emerge into full life as a daughter, a lover, a mother, a victor. THE WIND DONE GONE is a passionate love story, a wrenching portrait of a tangled mother-daughter relationship, and a book that "celebrates a people's emancipation not only from bondage but also from history and myth, custom and stereotype" (San Antonio Express-News).

In a brilliant rejoinder and an inspired act of literary invention, Alice Randall explodes the world created in Margaret Mitchell's famous 1936 novel, the work that more than any other has defined our image of the antebellum South. Imagine simply that the black characters peopling that world were completely different, not egregious, one-dimensional stereotypes but fully alive, complex human beings.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
This ambitious novel has stirred up quite a bit of controversy for its poignant ridicule of one of our nation's most celebrated stories, Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind, which by now has achieved an almost mythic status in America's cultural history.

Many Americans are troubled by Mitchell's portrayal of life in the Antebellum South. Alice Randall read the novel as a young girl and loved it. But as the years passed, certain questions about the novel persisted in her mind and inspired the writer to imagine an alternate version of what life might actually have been like for African Americans living in the Atlanta of Gone with the Wind.

At the center of The Wind Done Gone is the beautiful and fiercely intelligent Cindy, an illegitimate mulatto woman who is unacknowledged by her father and ignored by her mother. Sold off by slaveholders, and eventually making her way back to Atlanta during Reconstruction, Cindy becomes involved with a white politician, only to leave him for a politician of her own color.

Endorsed by the likes of Quincy Jones, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Tony Earley, and Rita Mae Brown -- to name only a few -- The Wind Done Gone promises to leave an indelible mark on the literature of the early 21st century for its startling and realistic portrait of the South. Cindy's internal struggle to come to grips with her own identity as a woman of color mirrors our nation's own attempts to reckon with the horrifying and destructive legacy left behind by the institution of slavery. (Cary Goldstein)

Library Journal
Think of Margaret Mitchell's epic Gone with the Wind condensed and told from the perspectives of Mammy and the Tara slaves, and you have Randall's debut novel. This sometimes cryptic but always fascinating story is narrated by Cynara (also Cinnamon or Cindi), the daughter of a slave and a white plantation owner. As the story unfolds, we learn of Cynara's hatred of the white half-sister she calls Other and the privileges bestowed upon Other yet denied Cynara even though they are raised side by side. Both sisters vie for the attentions of Mammy (Cynara's mother and Other's nanny) as children, and for the love of the same man as adults. Through the eyes of Cynara and the other now freed slaves, we get unique perspectives of life on a Southern plantation and of the Reconstruction era. Randall, an established country songwriter, uses language and idiom to haunting and poetic effect. Fans of Toni Morrison's Beloved will enjoy this well-written historical fiction. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/01; a trust for Margaret Mitchell's heirs has filed an injunction to stop this book's publication as a violation of copyright. Ed.] Karen Traynor, Sullivan Free Lib., Chittenango, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Songwriter Randall's audacious, highly controversial (the Margaret Mitchell estate is not amused) debut retells Gone With the Wind from the point of view of Scarlett O'Hara's mulatto half-sister. Like many a slave child, Cynara was born out of wedlock, fathered by "Planter," the white man who owned her mother. She grew up in relatively protected circumstances, able to read and write (unlike her Mammy), her life holding an off-center mirror to the experiences of her famously headstrong white half-sister, here known only as "Other." Cynara's sly sketches of Dreamy Gentleman (Ashley Wilkes), Miss Mealy Mouth (the irritatingly saintlike Melanie), and a host of other supporting characters from the original enliven this pseudo-memoir. Cynara and R. (Rhett Butler) become lovers—what Other doesn't know won't hurt her, Cynara reasons. R. turns to her in secret when his beloved little daughter dies, but he refuses to give her the child of her own she yearns for. Openly his mistress after Emancipation, Cynara travels to Europe and throughout the South, meeting Frederick Douglass, colored congressmen, and other dignitaries of the new black elite, although she discovers that the mulatto mistresses of Confederate aristocracy have little standing in Negro society. The real story here, however, is the parallel lives of the sisters, whose fates are forever entwined. Cynara offers a shrewd assessment of her white Other, who "has the vitality, vigor, and the pragmatism of a slave, and into this water you stir as much refinement as you can without leaving any grains of sugar at the bottom of the glass. She was a slave in a white woman's body, and that's a sweet drink of cold water." But Cynara, aremarkable woman in her own right, outshines her on every page. Randall's vivid prose skillfully captures the color of a mind, which is something much subtler than skin shades of brown or black or white. Sure to outrage a few diehard traditionalists—and entertain everyone else.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618194247
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 8/28/2001
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged, 5 CDs
  • Pages: 5
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Alice Randall was born in Detroit and graduated from Harvard in 1981. After a start as a journalist in Washington, D.C., she moved to Nashville to become a country songwriter. The only African-American woman ever to write a number-one country song, she has had more than twenty songs recorded. She is also a screenwriter and has worked on adaptations of Their Eyes Were Watching God, Parting the Waters, and Brer Rabbit. Randall first read Gone With the Wind when she was twelve and loved the novel. Years later, a question came to trouble her: where were the mulatto children of Tara? It was a question that interested her personally: she is of mixed-race ancestry and has been told that her great-great-grandfather was Confederate General Edmund Pettus. The Wind Done Gone is Alice Randall's first novel.
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Read an Excerpt


Today is the anniversary of my birth. I have twenty-eight years. This
diary and the pen I am writing with are the best gifts I got --
except maybe my cake. R. gave me the diary, the pen, and the white
frosted tiers. He also gave me emerald earbobs. I think maybe my
emeralds are just green glass; I hope maybe they be genuine peridots.
I was born May 25, 1845, at half-past seven in the morning
into slavery on a cotton farm a day's ride from Atlanta. My father,
Planter, was the master of the place; my mother was the Mammy. My
half-sister, Other, was the belle of five counties. She was not
beautiful, but men seldom recognized this, caught up in the cloud of
commotion and scent in which she moved. R. certainly didn't; he
married her. But then again, he just left her. Maybe that means
something to me. Maybe he's just the unseldom one who do recognize.


If I strip the flesh off my bones, like they stripped the clothes off
my flesh in the slave market down near the battery in Charleston,
this would be my skeleton: childhood on a cotton farm; a time of
shawl-fetch slavery away in Charleston; a bare-breasted hour on an
auction block; drudge slavery as a maid in Beauty's Atlanta brothel,
when Milledgeville was the capital of Georgia and Atlanta was
nothing; a season of candle-flame concubinage in the attic of that
house; a watery Grand Tour of Europe; and, finally, concubinage in my
own white clapboard home, with green shutters and gaslights, in the
center (near the train depot) of a fast-growing city that has become
the capital of Georgia, concubinage that persists till now. How many
miles have I traveled to come back to here?


They called me Cinnamon because I was skinny as a stick and brown.
But my name is Cynara. Now when I tell it, I say they called me
Cinnamon because I was sweet and spicy. Sweet, hot, strong, and
black -- like a good cup of coffee. Leastways, that's how Planter
liked his coffee.
Planter used to say I was his cinnamon and Mammy was his
He said those words a day I had gotten into trouble dashing
before Other upon the stained-glass colored light that fell in rows
of blue and pink diamonds down the wide hall of the big house. If I
was ten years old, it must have been 1855. I bumped into the leg of
the Hewitt sideboard. Other was ten years old too. It was one of
those days we had back when everything seemed it would always be just
as it has always been. Everything and everyone had a place and rested
deep in it, or so it seemed that day to would-be knights and ten-year-
olds. Then I bumped into that carved leg, and the shell-shaped bonbon
dish jumped off Lady's sideboard as if it just wanted to split into a
hundred porcelain shards on the lemon-oiled pine floor. Something had
changed, and I had changed it. Someone wanted to beat me. Mammy said
she'd beat me good, with a belt. Other lied and said she'd knocked
into the table. Said it 'cause she knew it would pain Mammy to give
me a whipping.
And sometimes Planter said it when he heard me making up
little rhymes to sing to myself. Sometimes when Mammy was putting
Other to sleep on a day pallet for a nap, he would call for me to sit
at his feet on the broad porch and sing my little songs to
him. "Cindy, come sing, come sing! Ain't you my Cinnamon and she my
coffee?" he'd ask. And I'd be slow to go, because I knew someone
might be missing me.
On the day Planter told me I was leaving the place, I asked
him what he had meant when he said that I was his cinnamon and she
was his coffee. He said to me, "I mean a man can do without his
cinnamon but he can't do without his coffee." I poked my lip out. "I
mean you're a gracious plenty."
"I belong here?"
"Gracious plenty foreign to me child."
R. says Planter was an Irishman and all Irish are shiftless,
lazy crackers, no matter how rich they get. He always wants me to
look outside the neighborhood for models of my deportment. He often
mentions that Georgia was once a penal colony. The first time he said
it, I didn't know what a "penal colony" was. He says only the English
and the French know anything about gracious plenty. He says when
Planter and Mammy got together, they cooked a broth too rich for
potato-water blood.
It was Planter who sent me away, but he got the go-ahead from
Mama. It was the year his third son died, and he said it would be a
good turn for me. I was thirteen the day they rode me off. It was
Mammy was my Mama. Even though she let me go, I miss her. I
miss her every time I look into a mirror and see her eyes. Sometimes
I comb through my long springy curls and pretend that the hand
holding the comb is hers. But I don't know what that looks like. Then
I wish I was Other, the girl whose sausage curls I've seen Mammy comb
and comb. I wish for the tight kinks of the comber or the glossy
sausages of the combed. I wish not to be out of the picture.
Mammy always called me Chile. She never called me soft or to
her softness. She called me to do things, usually for Other, who she
called Lamb. It was "Get dressed, Chile!" and "What's mah Lamb gwanna

Copyright © 2001 by Alice Randall
Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 2 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2014

    The book was excellent, within the constraints that copyright is

    The book was excellent, within the constraints that copyright issues imposed.  It took a while to figure out who all the characters were, since their names in this book don't match the ones from Gone With the Wind... but even that matches a sad reality of life under slavery and Jim Crow.  God forbid, that any person of color could be heard uttering *anything* about any white person.  Even compliments could be easily misconstrued as criticisms and then punished severely.  This one requires full attention, since every detail counts for something.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2002


    I feel that this is a terrible book! Poorly written, and poor storyline. I believe that Ms. Randall is trying to stir up trouble. Nothing will ever compare to Gone With the WInd, and it is stupid for anyone to even try! If possible, I would give this a negative something. Don't waste your time or money! Stay Away!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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