'Scarlett' author dies

Jan. 26, 2004 at 4:56 PM

RICHMOND, Va., Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Alexandra Ripley, author of "Scarlett", the official sequel to "Gone With the Wind" has died.

The prolific historical fiction writer was 70. She died of natural causes at her Richmond home, to which she had recently moved from Charlottesville, writes the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Ms Ripley was chosen by the Margaret Mitchell estate to write the multi-million-selling author's sequel. Though it received only moderate reviews on publication in 1991, it rose to No. 1 on The New York Times' list and became an international bestseller with millions of copies sold. CBS paid a record $8 million for the rights to make a miniseries based on the book.

Ms Ripley, who was separated from her husband, John Graham of Charlottesville, is survived by two daughters, Elizabeth Ripley and Merrill Ripley Geier, and a granddaughter, all of Richmond.

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