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Conversations with Octavia Butler (Literary Conversations Series) Paperback – December 2, 2009

4.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

The first collection of interviews with the Nebula and Hugo Award-winning author of Kindred, Parable of the Sower, Fledgling, and Bloodchild

About the Author

Conseula Francis is associate professor of English and director of African American studies at the College of Charleston. Her work has been published in the Langston Hughes Review.

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Product Details

  • Series: Literary Conversations Series
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi (December 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604732768
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604732764
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #860,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A. Kee on January 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
Although essays have been written about the legendary writer Octavia Butler (1947-2006), if you want to really get to know Octavia Butler you need this book. In Conversations with Octavia Butler, Conseula Francis, an associate professor of English and director of African American studies at the College of Charleston, has compiled a varied set of twenty-three interviews.

Some of the interviews were conducted for print publications, while others are transcripts of radio interviews (such as interviews that aired on NPR). While a few of the interviews are currently available online, it was quite exciting to read the first twelve interviews, which span the years from 1980 to 1998, because most of these are not freely available. Readers of her later books will also enjoy the eleven interviews from the year 2000 to 2006. The majority of the interviews are short, under ten pages, but a few are meatier at twenty pages or longer. The format of the interviews also varies, as most were written in the typical transcript style, but a handful were written as essays. Others are not one-on-one interviews at all; rather, they are write-ups of panel discussions. Regardless of the format, readers of Conversations, whether they are new to Octavia Butler's work and longtime fans, will find themselves captivated by the topics discussed in the interviews.

In all, I believe that this is a very important book, one that is particularly valuable to three audiences. First, fans like myself, who hunger to know more about the details of Octavia Butler's life and about her perspectives on her work, will be captivated. Second, scholars-from high school students who are reading one of her books for their English class to professors doing research for an article-will find much to explore.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great oppurtunity to get a first hand look at Ms. Butler. Her evolutionay growth, was very interesting. She is my all time favorite author. I was impressed with her world views and her reflection of her self. This is the kind of person I would have enjoyed spending a whole day with. I seriously felt pain in my soul when I heard this wonderfull human had passed on. Gone to soon.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I say intimate in quotation marks, because Ms. Butler was intensely private, but you can find small tidbits here. You can read a little about the fire that burned her grandmother's house down, her mother's off-hand remark that she could be a writer which stuck in her head, when her mother tore up her comic books...I am loving this book!
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Format: Hardcover
As the sole major African American female author of science fiction, Octavia Butler reshaped the fictional world of fantasy and myth with her insightful books, creating alternative realities of sex, race, gender and culture. This collection of interviews from 1980 to 2006, features an intelligent, articulate, introspective woman who understood some uncommon truths about history, society, science, and human relationships.

Reading through the interviews reveals Octavia as a very capable intellectual, who drew upon the male Grand Masters of the sci-fi genre, but was influenced by the powerful feminism of female visionaries such as Joanna Russ, Ursula LeGuin, Kate Wilhelm, and Marion Zimmer Bradley. Although she won both the Nebula and Hugo awards and a MacArthur genius grant, she kept expanding her literary boundaries.

Read the full review and more book reviews from AALBC.com on your Kindle Edition
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