By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated April 21, 1998 12:00 AM
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The heirs of “Gone With the Wind” author Margaret Mitchell have filed suit in Federal District Court in Atlanta to halt publication of a new novel, “The Wind Done Gone” by Alice Randall, that retells parts of Mitchell’s epic Civil War romance from a slave’s perspective, reports The New York Times. Randall’s book, scheduled for publication in May, is narrated by a slave at Tara, the Georgia plantation of the O’Hara family patriarch Gerald, his wife Ellen and their daughters, who include Scarlett. The narrator is the illegitimate daughter of Gerald and the servant Mammy. A lawyer for the Mitchell estate (author Mitchell died in 1949) are arguing that the book violates the copyright to the original “Gone With the Wind” by incorporating many plot lines, scenes and characters, reports The Times. A lawyer for the new book’s publisher, Houghton Mifflin, declined comment. The original “Gone With the Wind” was published in 1936, and its classic movie version premiered in 1939. Both sparked controversy from civil rights leaders of the time for its patronizing attitude toward the story’s African-American characters.