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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.

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4,4591941,545 (4.18)494
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» See also 494 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 195 (next | show all)
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 |
Kindred by Octavia E. Butler is one of the most interesting presentations that I have read of a novel that deals with slavery, and I almost didn't read it once I found out that there was time travel. I just couldn't envision how a novel dealing with a subject of such great seriousness and importance could include something so whimsical as time travel. I have to say that I was glad that I stuck around to find out.

It's an interesting premise really. You see, I have read dozens of books that have tackled the subject of slavery and have felt deeply about the subject through the writing of some very talented authors, but Octavia E. Butler, through writing about a modern day woman traveling back in time, gave me something that no one else has until now. The ability to see, fear and be angered about a free woman with all the advantages of her time being taken into slavery and have her rights taken from her.

There is also this interesting ancestry connection between present day, main character Dana, and some of the people living in the 1800's where Dana is taken to. That adds a fascinating piece as the reader imagines how her presence in the past might effect her life in the present.

I only wish that she would have gone a bit further, however. While there are scenes where the brutality of slavery showed through, there was entirely too much liberty given to the main character because of her position with the plantation owners son. That, coupled with a few minor inconsistencies, and writing that was very, very pleasant, but nothing to blow my socks off, makes this a C rating.

Still, I have recommended this book highly to both my mother and my daughter-in-law and I recommend it to you. I am not at all sorry to have read Kindred, and I know that not everyone will have the hangups that I do, plus it truly is a remarkable angle that gave me something different than other novels on the subject. ( )
  StephLaymon | Aug 12, 2018 |
Kindred🍒🍒🍒🍒🍒
By Octavia E. Butler
1979
Beacon Press

"I never realized how easily people could be trained to accept slavery."

Caught in a fantasy time travel, Edana "Dana" Franklin travels between her successful career and happy marriage to Kevin, a white man, in 1976 Los Angeles to a woman slave on a plantation in Maryland in 1815. Without papers, you are assumed a slave and treated as one. Dana had no papers.
While in Maryland slaves were strictly controlled by patrollers who regularly shipped and beat the workers for no reason, until they were unable to stand. Then force them back into the fields. They would tape the women to sell the babies.
Dana was one of the few who could read and write and was used by her master for her abilities, then would be beaten for acting like an "educated nigger".
The brutality and course treatment is so vivid, so real....a beautiful but horrifying novel.
Octavia E. Butler is a rare author who can inspire such depth, such feeling....this absorbing and emotional novel is a must read.

......I cant find the words to say I much I loved this book!!! It blew me away on so many levels, I am looking forward to reading more of her work. ( )
  over.the.edge | Aug 10, 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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Book description
A young African-American woman is mysteriously transferred back in time leading to an irresistible curiosity about her family's past.
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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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