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Mixed-Race Author: Alice Randall

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    [My Photo] Mixed-Race Author: Alice Randall Alice Randall is author of Pushkin and the Queen of Spades & The Wind Done Gone Bio Alice Randall is author of
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 29, 2007
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      My PhotoMixed-Race Author: Alice Randall

      Alice Randall is author of Pushkin and the
      Queen of Spades
      The Wind Done Gone


      Alice Randall is author of Pushkin and the
      Queen of Spades & The Wind Done Gone


      Multi-Generational Multiracially-Mixed (MGM-Mixed




      Alice Randall is the author of Pushkin and the Queen of Spades
      & The Wind Done Gone, both published by Houghton-Mifflin.
      Alice was born in Detroit , Michigan , in an enclave of Motown
      populated almost exclusively with refugees from Alabama .

      She grew up in Washington , D.C. , and then attended
      Harvard University , from which she graduated in 1981
      with an honors degree in English and American literature.

      In 1983 she moved to Nashville to become a country songwriter.

      In 2001, her first novel,
      The Wind Done Gone, became a New York
      bestseller and the subject of a first-amendment
      legal battle.
      Alice received the Free Spirit Award in 2001 and the Literature Award
      of Excellence from the Memphis Black Writers Conference in 2002.
      She was a finalist for the NAACP Image Award in 2002.

      The only African-American woman in history to write a
      Number 1 country song
      , she has had over twenty songs
      recorded, including two top ten records and a top forty.

      Her work includes the only known recorded country songs to explore the
      subject of lynching (
      Mark O'Connor's "The Ballad of Sally Anne" ), mention

      Aretha Franklin in the same line as Patsy Cline (Trisha Yearwood's "Xxx's and
      Ooo's (An American Girl)"
      ), and give tribute to both the slave dead
      and the Confederate dead ("I'll Cry for Yours, Will You Cry for Mine?").

      Ms. Randall is also a produced screenwriter (a movie of the
      week for CBS) and has worked on adaptations of
      Their Eyes
      Were Watching God, Parting the Waters
      , and Brer Rabbit.

      The mother of Caroline Randall Williams (who is the great-granddaughter
      of the Harlem Renaissance poet
      Arna Bontemps) and the wife of attorney
      David Ewing (a ninth-generation resident of Nashville and a great-
      great-grandson of Prince Albert Ewing, the first African-American to
      practice law in Tennessee), Alice Randall Ewing lives in Nashville, Tenn.


      Email Address: Email Me

      Press Inquiries:

      Walter Vatter
      Houghton-Mifflin Books

      Speaking Representation:

      If you are interested in having Alice speak to your group,
      please contact
      Flip Porter at American Program Bureau.


      A nagging question spawned
      author to pen best-selling parody

      The Philadelphia Inquirer
      (Sunday, July 22, 2001)

      For years, the question gnawed at Alice Randall,
      the author who fought in court to publish
      a book that is now a best-seller.

      Where, Randall wondered,
      were the Mulatto children of Tara?

      Randall, 42, who has lived in Nashville for
      almost 20 years, is of Mixed-Race ancestry
      and identifies, proudly, as African American

      She was 12 and living in Detroit when she first read
      "Gone With the Wind," Margaret Mitchell's Pulitzer
      Prize-winning epic of the Old South, and found
      herself mesmerized by the love story of
      headstrong Scarlett O'Hara and dashing
      Rhett Butler, and horrified by the demeaning
      depictions of the Black slaves of Tara .

      Three decades later, Randall has turned Tara upside
      down and outraged the Mitchell estate with her
      parody "The Wind Done Gone" (Houghton Mifflin,
      $22), the story of the plantation told through the
      journal of Cynara, out-of-wedlock daughter of
      Mammy and Planter, the White man who has
      her trapped in the system of chattel slevery.

      In Randall's version, Scarlett, no longer
      the center of attention, is known
      merely as Other, and Rhett, called R.

      The Mitchell estate sued to stop publication, and in
      April, an Atlanta judge agreed that "The Wind Done
      Gone" violated "Gone With the Wind"'s copyright.

      But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th
      Circuit overturned the ruling on the ground
      that it violated the First Amendment.

      That didn't stop a handful of protesters -- one wearing
      a Confederate uniform, waving a rebel flag and holding
      a sign that said "Write Your Own Book" -- from greeting
      Randall last week outside the Margaret Mitchell
      House in Atlanta , where she appeared as an
      invited guest during her national book tour.

      "I felt the need to write a text that would
      rebuke the original and transform it,"
      says Randall.
      Because that novel injured so many people.
      Black people and white people have
      told me how poisoned they felt by it."

      Randall's need to respond to "Gone
      With the Wind" with her "unauthorized
      parody" was deeply personal, she says.

      Randall's father's parents were half-white;
      her great-great-grandfather was said to be
      Confederate Gen. Edmund Pettus.

      Her father was a green-eyed, red-haired
      "black" militant in the Malcolm X tradition.

      Her half-white mother
      "had a Mixed racial identity,"
      Randall says, "and 'Gone With
      the Wind' didn't make it easier."

      The family lived in Washington , D.C. , where
      Randall learned to love "high and low culture."

      She earned a degree in English at
      Harvard, and began writing for a living.

      She sold screenplays, including one that became
      a movie of the week for CBS, and wrote songs.

      She may be the only songwriter ever to include references
      to Aretha Franklin and Patsy Cline in the same hit song
      (Trisha Yearwood's "XXX's and OOO's (An American Girl)".)

      In her first novel, Randall says, she set out to dispel
      three myths perpetrated by "Gone With the Wind":
      "That Blacks are inferior to Whites.

      That the Black mother is an asexual creature
      who exists to take care of a White charge.
      And that black politicians are incompetent."

      In "The Wind Done Gone," Cynara,
      Scarlett's Mulatto half-sister, becomes
      educated and thrives in emancipation.

      She owns her own home in Atlanta , travels to
      Europe and hobnobs with "black" congressmen.

      Original characters from "Gone With the Wind"
      are here, but renamed and described in ways
      that Mitchell could never have foreseen.

      Ashley Wilkes is Dreamy Gentleman -- and gay.

      The saintly Melanie is Mealy Mouth.

      And Rhett, R., teaches Cynara to read and write.

      One of the novel's most compelling aspects is the
      exploration of Cynara's tangled relationship with
      Mammy, who, as Other's wet nurse, showed
      more affection to the White child than to her own.

      "The Wind Done Gone," now in its fourth printing,
      made its first appearance on the New York Times
      best-seller list last week, and is on the Publishers
      Weekly, USA Today and Entertainment Weekly lists.

      Reviews have been mixed, with the Los Angeles
      Times praising the book as "a gleaming pendant
      . . . that moves under its own power," and
      the New York Times dismissing it, saying:
      "Where Mitchell's novel was epic, vibrant and accessible,
      Randall's narrative is spare, flat and oblique."

      Randall places it in the African American 
      tradition of parody-as-a-form-of-protest.

      She likens it to a dance called the Cakewalk,
      an exaggerated promenade that blacks used
      to perform to entertain Whites, when in fact
      it was secretly done to mock Whites' behavior.

      "My purpose is political," Randall says.
      "My book is not a beach read. . . .
      It takes a big mind and big
      heart to get into this book.

      For many Americans, the other book
      had injured their minds and hearts.

      They're looking at my book for some kind of healing."


      Purchase Pushkin and the Queen of Spades

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      from your local bookstore
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      Purchase The Wind Done Gone

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      local bookstore
      via Booksense.com
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