May 4, 1959
Detroit, Michigan, USA
|Occupation||Author, songwriter, screenwriter, educator|
|Genre||Historical fiction, political fiction|
|Children||Caroline Randall Williams|
Alice Randall (born May 4, 1959) is an American author and songwriter of African-American descent. She is perhaps best known for her novel The Wind Done Gone, a reinterpretation and parody of the popular 1936 novel Gone with the Wind.
Born Mari-Alice Randall in Detroit, Michigan, she grew up in Washington, D.C.. She attended Harvard University, where she earned an honors degree in English and American literature, before moving to Nashville in 1983 to become a country songwriter. She currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is married to attorney David Ewing. She is a writer-in-residence at Vanderbilt University and teaches courses including a seminar on the country music lyric in American literature.
Country music career
Randall claims to be the first African-American woman to co-write a number-one country hit. The single "XXX's and OOO's (An American Girl)" was released in 1994 by country music singer Trisha Yearwood. Over 20 of her songs have been recorded, including several top 10 and top 40 records; her songs have been performed by Trisha Yearwood and Mark O'Connor.
Randall is the author of three novels:
- The Wind Done Gone (Houghton Mifflin Company, 2001)
- Pushkin and the Queen of Spades (2004)
- Rebel Yell (2009)
Her first novel The Wind Done Gone, is a reinterpretation and parody of Margaret Mitchell's 1936 novel Gone with the Wind. The Wind Done Gone essentially tells the same story as Gone with the Wind but from the viewpoint of Scarlett O'Hara's half-sister Cynara, a mulatto slave on Scarlett's plantation.
Randall and her publishing company, Houghton Mifflin, were sued in April 2001 by Mitchell's estate on the grounds that The Wind Done Gone infringed the copyright of Gone with the Wind. The lawsuit was eventually settled, allowing The Wind Done Gone to be published with the addition of a label describing it as "An Unauthorized Parody". In addition, Houghton Mifflin agreed to make a financial contribution to the Morehouse College, a historically black education institution in Atlanta supported by the Mitchell estate. The novel became a New York Times bestseller.
Published by Random House in 2015, the cookbook Soul Food Love was co-written by Randall and her daughter, the author and poet, Caroline Randall Williams. In February, 2016, the book received the 2016 NAACP Image Award for Literature (Instructional).
Randall received the Al Neuharth Free Spirit Award in 2001 and the Literature Award of Excellence from the Memphis Black Writers Conference in 2002. She was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award in 2002. Randall was also accepted for a prestigious writing residency at the famed Yaddo artist's community from June 23, 2011, to July 24, 2011. Randall and her daughter, Caroline Randall Williams, received the 2016 NAACP Image Award for Literature (Instructional) for their book, Soul Food Love.
- Green, Penelope (September 16, 2009). "At Home with Alice Randall: What Matters Most". New York Times. Retrieved October 3, 2014.
- Paula J. K. Morris, "Randall, Alice 1959–", Contemporary Black Biography, 2003. Encyclopedia.com.
- Biography on Alice Randall Official Website, accessed February 9, 2007.
- "An African American History Month Special: A Look at 'The Wind Done Gone,' a Parody of 'Gone With the Wind' Told From a Slave's Perspective", Democracy Now, February 21, 2002, accessed February 9, 2007.
- Calvin Reid, "HM, Mitchell Estate Settle 'WDG' Suit", Publishers Weekly, May 10, 2002.
- "'Wind Done Gone' fifth on Amazon, 11th on New York Times best-seller list". Nashville Post. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
- "The best of 2004, brought to you by our eclectic band of reviewers", The Washington Post, December 5, 2004.
- "NAACP Image Awards - Inside the Show". Retrieved 2016-02-06.
- Al Neuharth Free Spirit Award Past Honorees, Freedom Forum
- Patterson, Jim. "Vanderbilt writer Alice Randall accepted for Yaddo residency". Vanderbilt University. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
- Alice Randall official website