The first science fiction written by a Black woman, Kindred has become a cornerstone of Black American literature. This combination of slave memoir, fantasy, and historical fiction is a novel of rich literary complexity. Having just celebrated her 26th birthday in 1976 California, Dana, an African-American woman, is suddenly and inexplicably wrenched through time into antebellum Maryland. After saving a drowning white boy there, she finds herself staring into the barrel of a shotgun and is transported back to the present just in time to save her life. During numerous such time-defying episodes with the same young man, she realizes the challenge she’s been given: to protect this young slaveholder until he can father her own great-grandmother. Author Octavia E. Butler skillfully juxtaposes the serious issues of slavery, human rights, and racial prejudice with an exciting science fiction, romance, and historical adventure. Kim Staunton’s narrative talent magically transforms the listener’s earphones into an audio time machine.
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One of my all time favorite reads! Great book to share with the family.
Ok, the narration isn't my favorite BUT I love it!
I finished my re-listen of Kindred and I still love it as much as the first time I READ it. The main character, Dana, is a black woman who lives in the 1970's and is tethered to her white slave owner ancestor, Rufus. Every time Rufus' life is in danger she is pulled through time to save his life and ensure her own existence.
The following lines from Butler's novel perfectly discribes Dana's dilemma through out the book:
"[The slaves] seemed to like [Rufus], hold him in contempt, and fear him all at the same time. . . . I had thought my feelings were complicated because he and I had such a strange relationship. But then, slavery of any kind fostered strange relationships.”
Dana's journey to understand the lives of her ancestors, both slave and slave owner, make this book an engaging read.
Time travel book at it's best!
Kindred is a masterpiece of both science fiction and African American literature and Ms. Butler is a master story teller.