Last night The Atlanta History Center continued its celebration of the 75th Anniversary of GONE WITH THE WIND with a an author panel titled “Inspired by Margaret”.  They brought together for very diverse and fascinating women authors to discuss the impact and inspiration of Margaret Mitchell and GONE WITH WIND.

Shelia Moses, Amanda Gables, Dana Barrett, Patricia Sprinkle & Rebecca Burns

The panel included Shelia Moses, whose is both a National Book Award finalist and Coretta Scott King Honoree, Amanda Gable whose first novel features a young girl obsessed with the Civil War, Patricia Sprinkle, a prolific fiction author who researched Margaret Mitchell’s life for an imagined tale where she had lived to write more, and Rebecca Burns former Editor-In-Chief of Atlanta Magazine and author of three books on Atlanta history.  I had the privilege of moderating the discussion.

It was a full house, and we dove into the book, the movie, gender and race issues and of course Scarlett, Melanie, Rhett and Ashley.  When it came time for questions from the audience the hands were waving left, right and center.  They asked great questions and related some of their own ancestral history of the civil war and the dialogue between the authors and audience was lively.  With that many hands in the air we could’ve gone on for hours.

The evening also included yummy southern food from the famous Pittypat’s Porch and the ability to tour the Atlanta’s Book Exhibit which was kept open late for attendees.   We ended with the four authors graciously signing books and posing for a picture or two.

A lovely evening all around.  If you missed it – have no fear, there is still time to catch the exhibit, and if you love history (and live in Atlanta) there is always great programming at the The Atlanta History Center, so be sure to check it out!

— Dana Barrett, Managing Editor