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Margaret Mitchell, Reporter

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The author of Gone with the Wind worked for several years as a newspaper reporter for the Atlanta Journal. She also had quite the wild life as a ‘deb’ before marrying John Marsh. She dumped him for another guy who she later divorced before marrying John.

The collection of her newspaper stories was well-written enough for me to read all the entires — and while doing so, I couldn’t help but think that she shared the same southern story-telling genome as Rick Bragg, the recently disgraced NY Times reporter.

I became interested in her when I was working at the Gettysburg Times, a paper in a civil war town, so I started checking her out. I came across a biography of her and Mr. Marsh, by Marianne Walker, an English prof at the University of Kentucky.

As I read these two books, I tried reading GWTW, but found it too vile to get through. I’m talking about the references to slaves.

Instead, what I found was that the real love story — between her and Marsh — was certainly more profound, had more depth and beauty in it than her fiction. Though of course I can only compare it to the movie version of her book.

Margaret Mitchell, and John, were remarkable people whom I was glad to get to know through Ms. Walker’s book.

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