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Kindred

A book by Octavia E. Butler

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Kindred, by Octavia butler

  • Jun 27, 2010
Rating:
+5

This book begins in the hospital, as Diane is trying to convince the police that her boyfriend is not responsible for her horrific injuries. They do finally believe her, in part because there is no way he could have enmeshed her arm into a wall.

Dana Franklin, a black woman writer, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday in 1976 when she is snatched from her Southern California home and transported to the bank of a river in the antebellum South where she saves the life of a young white child who appears to be drowning. When the child's parents arrive, they begin to beat Dana; when the child's father attempts to shoot her, she is transported back to the twentieth century. The child is Rufus Weylin, whom Dana later discovers is to be the father of one of her ancestors, a child born of Weylin's rape of Alice Greenwood, one of his slaves. Thus, the preservation of his life is critical to Dana's survival. She is transported to the nineteenth century whenever his life is in danger, and she returns to the twentieth century whenever her life is in danger.

She begins to develop an attachment to Rufus; in every life-saving encounter with him, she attempts to teach him not to fall into the racism endemic in his family and southern society. In essence, she tries to save both his body and his soul. But her trips back in time are too infrequent to have any lasting effect on Weylin, who buys into the racist and sexist system that surrounds him. Dana takes an interest in the Weylin slaves, particularly Alice, and uses her literacy and knowledge of modern medical skills to help them. But in order to guarantee her own existence in the future, she also must encourage Alice to have sex with Rufus. Eventually, Dana too is made a slave and forced into an intimate understanding of the horrors of slavery and her own limitations.

The tension of the oddly symbiotic relationship between Dana and Weylin makes this book a riveting read. By transporting a modern-day African American woman into slavery, Butler vividly brings to life the hardships endured by the slaves. Dana frequently compares her strength and survival skills to those of the enslaved women and finds herself wanting. In the end, Dana finds the strength to break free of her physical slavery and the hold that the past has on her, while ensuring her own survival in the present, but she can never again forget the struggles of her exploited ancestors.

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Quick Tip by . August 09, 2010
Butler always gets an automatic 5 from me. Best sci-fi author. :)
Quick Tip by . June 30, 2010
im reminded of myself!
review by . March 04, 2009
KINDRED is one of those rare novels that grabs you by the throat and doesn't let you go until the very end. From the first sentence, Butler's simple, straightforward prose moves the story quickly making it nearly impossible for the reader to put down.     Dana, a black woman living in Los Angeles in 1976, is inexplicably transported to 1815 to save the life of a small, red-haired boy on Maryland's Eastern Shore. It turns out this small boy, Rufus, is one of her white slave owning …
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Anna Blake ()
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In the knowledge that "no good deed goes unpunished", I've set out to do only bad. verry verry bad!
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About this book

Wiki

The twenty-fifth-anniversary edition of the classic novel that has sold over 250,000 copies

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 again and again for Rufus, yet each time the stay grows longer and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana"s life will end, long before it has even begun.

"In Kindred Octavia Butler creates a road for the impossible, and a balm for the unbearable. It is everything the literature of science fiction can be."
—Walter Mosley

"[Kindred] is a shattering work of art with much to say about love, hate, slavery and racial dilemmas, then and now."
—Los Angeles Herald Examiner

"Truly terrifying. . . . A book you"ll find hard to put down."
¯Essence

"Butler"s books are exceptional. . . . She is a realist, writing the most detailed social criticism and creating some of the most fascinating female characters in the genre . . . real women caught in impossible situations."
¯The Village Voice

"Butler"s literary craftsmanship is superb."—The Washington Post Book World

See all Editorial Reviews

Octavia E. Butler (22 June 1947 - 24 February 2006) , author of several crtically acclaimed novels, died at the age of 58 after a fall outside her
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Details

ISBN-10: 0807083690
ISBN-13: 978-0807083697
Author: Octavia E. Butler
Genre: Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Publisher: Beacon Press; 25th Anniversary edition (February 1, 2004)
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