(Literary Essentials: African American Literature)

The Wind Done Gone, described by author Alice Randall as a parody of Margaret Mitchell’s famous novel Gone with the Wind (1936), presents the diary of Cynara, a former slave at the O’Hara cotton plantation. Randall’s novel does not lampoon the earlier novel; instead, it recasts selected episodes from its source text, presenting the events as perceived by Cynara, the biracial half sister of Mitchell’s protagonist, Scarlett O’Hara. Cynara, also known as Cinnamon or Cindy, refers to Scarlett as Other. She is the daughter of Other’s father, whom she refers to as Planter, and Mammy, Other’s nurse and virtual mother. The fictitious diary that constitutes the novel was supposedly found among the effects of Prissy Cynara Brown, an elderly woman who died in an assisted living center and who was a descendant of Prissy, one of the O’Haras’ household slaves. It recounts events leading up to and during the American Civil War and the Reconstruction period.

The plot unfolds as a twenty-eight-year-old Cynara reflects on events of the past, experiences a personally important revelation, and learns about herself as well. Having been sold by her owner and father Planter to a friend in Charleston, South Carolina, Cynara eventually is bought by Beauty, the owner of a brothel. She works there as a maid and becomes the favorite and later the kept mistress of R. (Gone with the Wind’s Rhett Butler).

Cynara’s diary recalls the lives and deaths of the people associated with the once-thriving cotton plantation she calls Tata—the Tara of Gone with the Wind—where she spent her first thirteen years. It...

(The entire section is 672 words.)