Since nothing has yet been actually signed, perhaps the story of Pat Conroy and his long-running and often-balked plan to write a sequel to Gone With the Wind d sn't belong in a column on deals. But after more than two years of negotiations among lawyers representing the Margaret Mitchell estate, St. Martin's Press, which wants him to do the book, Conroy himself and his regular publisher, Nan A. Talese's imprint at Doubleday, there seemed to be signs last week that a resolution might be near. SMP president and publisher Sally Richardson told PW "Finally, I think it's going to happen. Everyone seems to want it to happen, and there's a lot of goodwill all around, so I feel there can be flexibility about any remaining obstacles." Until recently, such obstacles included Conroy's determination to kill off Scarlett O'Hara and tell a new story from the viewpoint of Rhett Butler and to resist any objections from the estate, but according to Richardson, these problems seemed to evaporate in the past week or two. According to Talese, however, any celebration would be premature: "We have absolutely no agreement with St. Martin's," she declared.
Volume 244 Issue 45 11/09/1998