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Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by…
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Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation

by Octavia E. Butler

Other authors: Damian Duffy (Adapter), John Jennings (Illustrator), Pamela Notarantonio (Designer), Nnedi Okorafor (Introduction)

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» See also 3 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
I've read several of her books in the past, but I've never been an Octavia E. Butler fan. It's been a long time since I've read her work though, and I always had a nagging impulse that I should go back and try to re-read some of her stuff, so I welcomed this graphic novel adaptation as a way to dip my toe back in the water. This is either a very bad adaptation or I've been too generous in my evaluation that Butler's work was okay but mostly forgettable. As presented here, Kindred is a dreary mess full of character's acting awfully. Most unpleasant in story and art. The art is blocky, scratchy and features a distracting overlay of white lines whose purpose, I can only guess, is to somehow accent the inkwork. ( )
  villemezbrown | Jul 28, 2018 |
First of all, I still haven't read the novel Kindred, so I have no idea how they compare. It, along with the rest of Butler's books that I haven't already read, is of course on my TBR list. I've gone back and forth on whether I should read the novel before the graphic novel, but when I bumped into this at the library I gave in.

This is a difficult book. What if, for unclear reasons, you had to keep going back in time to save the life of your racist asshat ancestor in order for you to exist? And to be perfectly clear, the you here refers to a black woman, and the ancestor is a slave owner in pre-war South?

I think that I am glad that I encountered this book first in graphic novel format. I think the "watching something happen" level of empathy must be less painful than the "seeing the events directly through the narrator's eyes" level of empathy, and for that I'm grateful. If possible. I'm even more interested in the novel now, but I'm glad to have a better idea what to expect going in. ( )
  greeniezona | Mar 25, 2018 |
Reading the graphic novel of Kindred is definitely a different experience from the traditional print edition, but it is just as powerful and heart-rending -- if not more -- as the original book. Highly recommended. ( )
  ryner | Feb 26, 2018 |
Dana, an African American woman in 1970s California, finds herself thrust into the past after experiencing a dizzy spell. On her first unwarranted trip, Dana finds a young, red-haired boy drowning and saves his life. She finds out this young boy, Rufus, is a distant relative of hers and the son of a cold-hearted slave owner. Dana returns to her home after saving Rufus and after her life is threatened by his father. Each time Dana returns to the present, she is unwantedly pushed back into the past to save the reckless Rufus' life. It is one thing to hear about the history slavery and another to live and experience it. How will Dana change after experiencing slavery first-hand? Fans of Octavia Butler's tale, Kindred, will find the graphic novel adaptation to be just as compelling and horrific as the original tale. The illustrations add another layer of depth to Butler's story, especially in the atrocities of slavery. Fans of the original story, and any science fiction, historical fiction, or graphic novel fans, will find this graphic novel adaptation of the classic novel hard to put down.


Taylor W. / Marathon County Public Library
Find this book in our library catalog.

( )
  mcpl.wausau | Sep 25, 2017 |
CN for entire review: Racism, Rape, Slavery

Best for: Really anyone. I don’t think you need to be into graphic novels or science fiction to enjoy this work.

In a nutshell: Somehow Dana — a young Black woman living with her white husband in 1976 — ends up being transported back to the mid-1800s when a young son of a slave master fears death. Without warning, she is then transported back to 1776. This cycle continues, and times including her husband.

Line that sticks with me: “I never realized how easily people could be trained to accept slavery.” (p 89)

Why I chose it: My husband received this as a gift this year and thought I would also enjoy it.

Review: This was an intense read, possibly made more intense by the portrayal of the images associated with the it. In a traditional novel, we imagine the scenes. And its possible what we imagine is more dramatic than, say, what might end up in a film adaptation. But with this graphic novel format, the images showing the whippings, the attempted rapes, the horror, are all quite real.

Below are spoilers, as they were hard to avoid in the areas I’m most interested in exploring.

Dana’s relationship with Rufus — the boy, then teen, then man who she is connected to — is complicated. Saving his life often means saving her own, but keeping him alive may mean other things, like the continued mistreatment of other humans. Yet if she kills him before he issues free papers for the slaves, all she does is risk those slaves being sold to yet another white person. Dana has some sympathy for Rufus at time, and the reader can sometimes see that perhaps there is a grain of humanity in him, but then he refuses to embrace that grain and continues along the path his dead slave-owning father led him down.

Her relationship to the slaves on the plantation is also complicated. She doesn’t speak like them, she can read and write, and she gets some preferential treatment that keeps her from the harder labor in the fields. But she still gets whipped, and has her life threated. She has to ‘remember her place’ and try to figure out how to help the slaves without putting their lives — or her own — at risk.

I’ve don’t believe I’ve finished any of Ms. Butler’s books before. I believe I started one for a book club but didn’t connect. This one, however, I couldn’t put down. The science fiction is there for sure, but it isn’t the main focus. Yes, it’s about woman who gets pulled into the past without control, and then returned seemingly beyond her control. Time passes in the past but when she returns, minutes or hours have passed in the present day. We don’t know how the mechanic works, and we never find out (we do learn the why, sort of). And yes, there is a level of tension in terms of when will she get pulled back next, and can she return before she is hurt badly. But it isn’t the main point.

The main point is, as I see it, survival. How does one survive in this time and place — Maryland, during the slavery era of the U.S. — when one has no experience of it? And how does one survive when one does? Is there any complexity to slaveholders, or are they all 100% evil? Does “product of their time” mean anything? Is it an excuse, or simply an explanation? How does a slave survive? How does a free Black person survive? How does anyone thrive?

I do think we probably lose a few things in the adaptation to graphic novel, which is what kept me from giving this four stars. Regardless, I’m definitely glad that I read this, and I’ll be thinking on it for awhile.

Also — Cannonball! ( )
  ASKelmore | Jul 8, 2017 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Octavia E. Butlerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Duffy, DamianAdaptersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jennings, JohnIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Notarantonio, PamelaDesignersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Okorafor, NnediIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 141970947X, Hardcover)

Octavia E. Butler’s bestselling literary science-fiction masterpiece, Kindred, now in graphic novel format.
 
More than 35 years after its release, Kindred continues to draw in new readers with its deep exploration of the violence and loss of humanity caused by slavery in the United States, and its complex and lasting impact on the present day. Adapted by celebrated academics and comics artists Damian Duffy and John Jennings, this graphic novel powerfully renders Butler’s mysterious and moving story, which spans racial and gender divides in the antebellum South through the 20th century. 
 
Butler’s most celebrated, critically acclaimed work tells the story of Dana, a young black woman who is suddenly and inexplicably transported from her home in 1970s California to the pre–Civil War South. As she time-travels between worlds, one in which she is a free woman and one where she is part of her own complicated familial history on a southern plantation, she becomes frighteningly entangled in the lives of Rufus, a conflicted white slaveholder and one of Dana’s own ancestors, and the many people who are enslaved by him.
 
Held up as an essential work in feminist, science-fiction, and fantasy genres, and a cornerstone of the Afrofuturism movement, there are over 500,000 copies of Kindred in print. The intersectionality of race, history, and the treatment of women addressed within the original work remain critical topics in contemporary dialogue, both in the classroom and in the public sphere.
 
Frightening, compelling, and richly imagined, Kindred offers an unflinching look at our complicated social history, transformed by the graphic novel format into a visually stunning work for a new generation of readers.

(retrieved from Amazon Sun, 26 Jun 2016 22:53:02 -0400)

Octavia E. Butler's bestselling literary science-fiction masterpiece, Kindred, now in graphic novel format. More than 35 years after its release, Kindred continues to draw in new readers with its deep exploration of the violence and loss of humanity caused by slavery in the United States, and its complex and lasting impact on the present day. Adapted by celebrated academics and comics artists Damian Duffy and John Jennings, this graphic novel powerfully renders Butler's mysterious and moving story, which spans racial and gender divides in the antebellum South through the 20th century. Butler's most celebrated, critically acclaimed work tells the story of Dana, a young black woman who is suddenly and inexplicably transported from her home in 1970s California to the pre-Civil War South.… (more)

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