Hattie McDaniel. Via Wikimedia Commons.
The character of Mammy in Gone with the Wind is an important one, symbolically; it’s the role that earned Hattie McDaniel an Oscar in 1940, the first African-American to do so. Despite being an iconic figure in film and literature, though, the character is one without a great deal of depth, or even a name, for that matter. Author Donald McCraig is hoping to address that and offer up a more fully realized Mammy in his upcoming novel, Ruth’s Journey.
A prequel to Margaret Mitchell’s classic Gone with the Wind, McCraig’s book will follow the heroine’s life story as she’s taken from her home in Saint-Domingue (now Haiti) to slavery in the US, Julie Bosman writes for the New York Times.
McCraig is the author of one of the two authorized Gone with the Wind sequels, Rhett’s People, published in 2007. It was his idea to use a prequel to explore the house slave’s backstory, as well as to name her Ruth. The editorial director of Atria Books (the book’s publisher), Peter Borland, says of the idea to move backwards chronologically, “[McCraig] felt that Mammy was such a fascinating and crucial character to the book. He wanted to …read more

Via: Melville House Books