Did somebody say Scarlett? In 1991 her name was on everyone's lips and in everyone's laps. Alexandra Ripley's sequel to Margaret Mitchell's classic, Gone with the Wind, has sold more than 2 million copies to date, has spawned an $8 million miniseries deal and has restored America's favorite mythical Southern heroine to what she would consider her rightful place: the center of attention.
Unable to resist any spotlight, Scarlett herself time-traveled to New York City just in time to flounce through the literary festivities. Of course, PEOPLE was there. Herewith an exclusive peek at Scarlett's diary, plus never-before-seen pix.
DEAR DIARY: Oh, fiddle-de-dee, these damn Yankees just talk, talk, talk—all about themselves. And they actually pay people called shrinks to listen. Ah confess Ah've taken more comfort from Mammy, bossy as she is. All Ah want is to get Rhett back—so why does this bald guy keep asking me about mah daddy's cigars? Today he told me that men just don't understand what women are trying to say. Why, Ah'd sooner die than have a man understand me! He says Ah'm codepen-dent, egocentric and manipulative and that Rhett should read Smart Men, Dumb Choices. If Ah weren't a lady, Ah'd deck this doc!
TURNS OUT Ah have something called an entrepreneurial mind, which is now considered an attribute—unlike the old days in Atlanta, where people scoffed at me for running that lumber business. Today, cutting down those li'l ol' trees is considered "politically incorrect." So Ah tried catering, even though Ah've never so much as beaten a buttermilk biscuit. But one of mah clients said he found a hair on the rim of his mint julep glass—well, now, is that supposed to be funny? Anyway, Ah found out that 1991 women with real style have their own magazines. So Ah launched one to showcase mah own editorial talents. Ah think it is only fittin' that Ah feature mah-self on the cover!
IF THERE'S one thing Ah know, it's how to make a scene on a staircase. Indeed, many—even most—of the memorable moments of mah life have been staged on staircases. But today, why, Ah just have to laugh: Women join clubs and climb stairs that go absolutely nowhere just so they can keep their figures! And what these hussies wear! I could shed a hoop and six petticoats and still have more on than they do! And then there's all this talk about "feel the burn"—oh, Atlanta, these people have no respect! Ah intend to keep mah waist the slimmest in three counties, thank you, but this exercise business just raises mah temperature and creates such an unladylike dampness. Still, Ah wonder...could Ah have charged people to climb the stairs at Tara back when Ah needed that tax money so badly? Oh, Ah'm so wicked!
GREAT BALLS OF FIRE! The only thing Ah've ever really understood, as Rhett used to say, is money, and Ah just met a man who seems so worthy of understanding! He owns hotels, skyscrapers, even his own towah—be still, my pittypattin' heart! Why, Ah hear he even owns the Taj Mahal! And he just loves women with accents. It's said that he has this stormy romance with another Georgia lady, but sisterhood be damned—all's fair in war and recessions! Why, Ah don't know what Ah evah saw in that lily-livered Ashley Wilkes. Oh, and never mind about that mean old varmint, Rhett Butler. Ah'll think about him...tomorrow.
Starring Saturday night Live's Victoria Jackson