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Wednesday, 18 April, 2001, 17:24 GMT 18:24 UK
Legal row over Gone with the Wind
Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind
Gone With The Wind was turned into a classic movie
Nobel laureate Toni Morrison has added her name to the list of respected authors supporting a writer whose parody of classic novel Gone with the Wind is embroiled in legal action.

Alice Randall is being sued by representatives of the late Margaret Mitchell, who wrote the original, over her novel The Wind Done Gone.

Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison is the author of novels Jazz and Beloved
The Stephens Mitchell Trusts has filed a suit in a federal court in Atlanta - to be heard on Wednesday - to block the publication of the book, which is due to come out in June.

Novelists Harper Lee and Pat Conroy, musician Steve Earle and Civil War historian Shelby Foote are among 20 artists and intellectuals supporting Alice Randall.

'Narrative spaces'

"What Miss Randall's book does is imagine and occupy narrative spaces and silences never once touched upon nor conceived of in Mrs Mitchell's novel," said Miss Morrison, the author of novels Jazz and Beloved.

A scene from Gone With the Wind
The Wind Done Gone is described as "wholesale theft"
Ms Randall argues that The Wind Done Gone simply parodies a famous book and does not violate copyright law.

But Tom Selz, a solicitor for the Mitchell trust, has said Randall commits "wholesale theft of major characters".

In The Wind Done Gone, the narrator, Cynara, is the daughter of the white master and a black woman on the plantation Tata.

The book includes phrases and settings from Gone With the Wind and references to characters in the classic novel.

The physical description of Cynara's half-sister, Other, matches that of Scarlett O'Hara.

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