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Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
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Kindred

by Octavia E. Butler

Other authors: Robert Crossley (Introduction)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,4651961,540 (4.18)494
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» See also 494 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 197 (next | show all)
I thought the ending was natural. Overall, engrossing, harrowing, and mysterious. ( )
  CassandraT | Sep 23, 2018 |
A wonderful novel. In this work, we follow Dana, a contemporary woman (from 1976) on her trip back to a slave plantation in the early 1800s. Butler does a great job of exploring the emotional aspects of slavery through the eyes of a modern day reader. Note: if you are the kind of reader who wants everything explained perfectly, Kindred is probably not the right book for you--Butler never explains exactly how Dana goes back in time. However, it is important to realize that how she goes back in time is not important; what's important is her journey, what she learns, and what she comes back with. Great book! ( )
  Borrows-N-Wants | Sep 22, 2018 |
Excellent time travel story. Butler not only thinks about the mechanics but also the effects upon the traveler(s). As you start to read, you follow the narrator figuring things out, and that keeps you going. But after things are figured out, you keep going because you see the characters develop and change. Her characters are complex: none are all good, none are all bad. I am a slow reader, but I was able to finish this in a couple of days by pushing myself. I did so because I've been wanting to read this for a while and it's our upcoming library science fiction book club selection for this month, and with my graduate class starting, I was afraid that I wouldn't have time to finish it. ( )
  AmyMacEvilly | Sep 7, 2018 |
When someone first suggested to me to read Kindred, she described it as a type of Science Fiction. I think, now after I’ve read it, that she wasn’t wrong, but she wasn’t right. It contains some elements of the genre, but it is so much more. Kindred is the story of an African American woman drawn through time repeatedly to her ancestor, a slave owner in Maryland who relishes to unleash the sins of his father on others. The fantastic elements of the story mostly serve as a way to frame the Historical Fiction side of the story.
I’m sure that many more educated and more interesting responses and essays on the book can be found, but I’ll try to contribute my two cents. As the historian Marc Bloc once said, “Misunderstanding of the present is the inevitable consequence of ignorance of the past. But a man may wear himself out just as fruitlessly in seeking to understand the past, if he is totally ignorant of the present...This faculty of understanding the living is, in very truth, the master quality of the historian.” It is a quote that came to me while I was reading Butler’s masterpiece. Edana, the protagonist, examines the history of her family and participates in the twists and turns of early 19th-century slaveholding Maryland. Her first trip back in time paints the picture of the whole future narrative of the book. She saves a drowning baby who turns out to be ancestor, and the reaction of the parents is hysteria, almost histrionics, from the mom and and anger from the dad. The portrait of the life of the African American slave is complete here.
The portrayal of the life in the antebellum South really strikes home when I read one of my favorite quotations from the book, “He could do anything he wanted to to me, and I had no enforceable rights. None at all.” The protagonist has saved the life of Rufus Weylin numerous times by this point, but she still feels trapped. It’s the danger of such a society — just as oppressive and fearful of ideas and the truth as Nazi Germany — that everyone, no matter who, becomes compliant to such a system and try to find a niche by abandoning ideals and embracing the pragmatism of saving themself.
Kindred struck me and had an impact that couldn’t be ignored. It’s a masterfully crafted book that involves the reader in the heart-wrenching tale of family and history. ( )
  Ben.Horowitz | Sep 5, 2018 |
Just incredible. I enjoyed this way, way more than the other Butler I've read so far; she does some amazing things with viscerality, and really explores power dynamics and relations with nuance and also heart. Even when I was frustrated, I was enthralled. It was brutal at times but conscious of where it could have been more brutal, and I once I actually sat down to give it time (rather than reading it in 30 minute chunks in the early mornings like I usually do with my ebooks) I couldn't put it down. I read the last 80% or so in a single day. Really really highly recommend for just about anyone. The essay in the back was like less than enthralling and didn't really add anything to it for me, but there is a cool bibliography with all of her other work and some secondary work written about her that might be interesting to mine! ( )
  aijmiller | Aug 25, 2018 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Butler, Octavia E.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Crossley, RobertIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gyan, DeborahCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leon, JanaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nuenning, MirjamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Otoo, Sharon DoduaForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ross, RachelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rummel, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schwinger, LaurenceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Staunton, Kimsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Victoria Rose,
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I lost an arm on my last trip home.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
A young African-American woman is mysteriously transferred back in time leading to an irresistible curiosity about her family's past.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0807083690, Paperback)

Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him. Dana is drawn back repeatedly through time to the slave quarters, and each time the stay grows longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana's life will end, long before it has a chance to begin.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:33 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned across the years to save him. After this first summons, Dana is drawn back, again and again, to the plantation to protect Rufus and ensure that he will grow to manhood and father the daughter who will become Dana's ancestor. Yet each time Dana's sojourns become longer and more dangerous, until it is uncertain whether or not her life will end, long before it has even begun.… (more)

» see all 6 descriptions

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Beacon Press

2 editions of this book were published by Beacon Press.

Editions: 0807083690, 0807083100

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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