Kindred

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Beacon Press, Feb 1, 2004 - Fiction - 288 pages
206 Reviews
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From the New York Times bestselling author of Parable of the Sower and MacArthur “Genius” Grant, Nebula, and Hugo award winner

The visionary time-travel classic whose Black female hero is pulled through time to face the horrors of American slavery and explores the impacts of racism, sexism, and white supremacy then and now.


“I lost an arm on my last trip home. My left arm.”

Dana’s torment begins when she suddenly vanishes on her 26th birthday from California, 1976, and is dragged through time to antebellum Maryland to rescue a boy named Rufus, heir to a slaveowner’s plantation. She soon realizes the purpose of her summons to the past: protect Rufus to ensure his assault of her Black ancestor so that she may one day be born. As she endures the traumas of slavery and the soul-crushing normalization of savagery, Dana fights to keep her autonomy and return to the present.

Blazing the trail for neo-slavery narratives like Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad and Ta-Nehisi Coates’s The Water Dancer, Butler takes one of speculative fiction’s oldest tropes and infuses it with lasting depth and power. Dana not only experiences the cruelties of slavery on her skin but also grimly learns to accept it as a condition of her own existence in the present. “Where stories about American slavery are often gratuitous, reducing its horror to explicit violence and brutality, Kindred is controlled and precise” (New York Times).

“Reading Octavia Butler taught me to dream big, and I think it’s absolutely necessary that everybody have that freedom and that willingness to dream.” 
—N. K. Jemisin 

The series adaption from FX premieres December 13 on Hulu. Developed for television by writer/executive producer Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Watchmen), executive producers also include Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields (The Americans, The Patient), and Darren Aronofsky (The Whale). Janicza Bravo (Zola) is director and an executive producer of the pilot. Kindred stars Mallori Johnson, Micah Stock, Ryan Kwanten, and Gayle Rankin.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - amcheri - LibraryThing

I'd go 4.5 but rounded up because it was better than 4. The story was so well done. The author was no where in the book - only Dana telling her own tale. I look forward to reading this again and telling everyone else that they should read it if they haven't. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ewyatt - LibraryThing

Aspiring writer Dana feels shaky and faint. When she comes to, she finds herself in pre-Civil War Maryland saving a young boy's life. And so begins this wild, horrifying journey for Dana, who finds ... Read full review

All 26 reviews »

Selected pages

Contents

PROLOGUE
9
THE RIVER
12
THE FIRE
18
THE FALL
52
THE FIGHT
108
THE STORM
189
THE ROPE
240
EPILOGUE
262
READERS GUIDE
265
Discussion Questions
285
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Octavia E. Butler (1947-2006) was the author of many novels, including Dawn, Wild Seed, and Parable of the Sower. She was the recipient of a MacArthur Award and a Nebula Award, and she twice won the Hugo Award.