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By Octavia E. Butler
Kindred by Octavia E. Butler digital book - Fable

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Publisher Description

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 

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.

429 Reviews

Thinking Face“This may be the perfect book club book, there is so much to unpack and discuss. It's not often you find a book that is entertaining and thought-provoking, with strong characters and a solid plot.”
Diverse charactersBeautifully writtenImmersive settingDarkThought-provokingAbuseRacismSelf-harmSexual assaultViolence
Anxious Face with sweat“This book was an entire experience for me. As a Black woman, this book was terrifying, the thought of going back to the antebellum era, and an era where we had no rights to speak of. Dana went through so much in this book because Octavia E Butler does not shy away from putting her characters through the wringer to prove several points. This book was just phenomenal, and I was on the edge of my seat from start to finish! It's so hard to believe that this was written in 1979. It could have as easily been written in 1980 or 2015.”
Likable charactersFast-pacedHeartbreakingScaryHaunting
Loudly Crying Face“This book took me on a ride I was not ready for!!! The characters really had me conflicted the whole time I was ready. I felt sad and mad when reading sense that felt too real 😭 it was a really good book and I recommend that everyone should read it. Especially middle and high schoolers. Yes this book is fiction but it tells the real story about slaver and what black people gone through! Also the generational trauma is sooo real!”
Characters change and growBeautifully writtenComplexTragicUnpredictableSerious
Surprised Face with Open Mouth“This book was amazing . Octavia Butler is a master at writing and I always finish her books feeling like I need more. This book said it all without being explicit in it. From including the dynamics of an interracial relationship , morally ambiguous characters, nurture vs nature, I doubt the tv adaptation will be able to capture the book completely.”
Reviewed in:Black to Front
Diverse charactersHeroic figuresMorally ambiguousMulti-layered charactersHeartbreakingDark setting
Surprised Face with Open Mouth“this book has been one of my best reads ever. The fact I’ve read it so fast says a lot, I could not put it down. This opened my mind to black history and showed me in-depth interracial relationships without having to spell it out. I will definitely come back to this book and read it again as I feel like the story will stay with me. I’m glad I’ve been introduced to this author and I’m excited to read more by her.”
Reviewed in:Black to Front
Diverse charactersAddictiveSuspensefulHistorically-accurateEducationalEnlightening

About Octavia E. Butler

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.

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