- Series: Bluestreak
- Paperback: 264 pages
- Publisher: Beacon Press (2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0807083690
- ISBN-13: 978-0807083697
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1,054 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #689 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Kindred Paperback – February 1, 2004
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Octavia Butler is a writer who will be with us for a long, long time, and Kindred is that rare magical artifact . . . the novel one returns to, again and again.—Harlan Ellison
"One cannot finish Kindred without feeling changed. It is a shattering work of art with much to say about love, hate, slavery, and racial dilemmas, then and now." —Sam Frank, Los Angeles Herald-Examiner
"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
"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."—Dorothy Allison, Village Voice
"Butler's literary craftsmanship is superb."—Washington Post Book World
"One of the most original, thought-provoking works examining race and identity."—Lynell George, Los Angeles Times
This powerful novel about a modern black woman transported back in time to a slave plantation in the antebellum South is the perfect introduction to Butler's work and perspectives for those not usually enamored of science fiction. . .A harrowing, haunting story." —John Marshall, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"No other work of fantasy or science fiction writings brings the intimate environment of the antebellum South to life better than Octavia E. Butler's Kindred." —Kevin Weston, San Francisco Chronicle
"A celebrated mainstay of college courses in women's studies and black literature and culture; some colleges require it as mandatory freshman reading." —Linell Smith, The Baltimore Sun
"Kindred is as much a novel of psychological horror as it is a novel of science fiction. . .a work of art whose individual accomplishment defies categorization." —Barbara Strickland, The Austin Chronicle
"A startling and engrossing commentary on the complex actuality and continuing heritage of American slavery." —Sherley Anne Williams, Ms.
"Her books are disturbing, unsettling… In a field dominated by white male authors, Butler's African-American feminist perspective is unique, and uniquely suited to reshape the boundaries of the sci-fi genre." —Bill Glass, L. A. Style
About the Author
Octavia E. Butler (1947-2006) was the author of many novels, including Dawn, Wild Seed, andParable of the Sower. She was the recipient of a MacArthur Award and a Nebula Award, and she twice won the Hugo Award.
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Top customer reviews
Kindred was published in 1979, yet for some sad reason I only recently discovered the author, Octavia Butler. Having finished Kindred in the space of two days, I intend to hunt down each and every book written by her. She is not an author I want to miss out on. Occasionally, reading a book written and published decades ago, particularly in the science fiction genre, makes the book less accessible and less enjoyable. This is absolutely not the case with Kindred. Kindred pulled me in from page one, the main character - Dana - seemed real; she seemed modern. Her thoughts, her concerns and her actions were not dissimilar from my own. Dana is a writer, who is married to another writer. They are a mixed raced couple living in Los Angeles. Their status as a mixed couple becomes important as the story progresses; it is a factor that allows the story to be broader than just Dana's experience. The pace of the book is intense and I could not put it down. I was pulled in and terrified at almost every step for Dana. Terrified for her well-being and for her life. Terrified that she would never see her husband again. Shocked at the brutality of the events as they unfolded.
Time travel and science fiction are labels that work to make this book seem more whimsical than it is. Kindred addresses heavy topics between the front and back covers - freedom, love, ownership, and survival. How does an individual survive in an atmosphere where every minute puts them at risk? How does an individual survive in a situation where their survival comes at the cost of another's loss of family and loss of life. How does one survive the loss of their children - taken at the hands by a cruel slave owner? How does a woman preserve her integrity - again at the hands of a cruel slave owner? The topics are dark and disturbing (as they should be), but the main characters are so genuine and likeable that while the subject matter is gruesome, it is still fed to the reader in the form of entertainment. In between the dark images and storyline, are bits and pieces of the love story shared between Dana and her husband and her desperate desire to remain in her own modern time with her husband.
This book raises many issues. One of course is if we could change history by traveling back into time, how would we do it. Do people make bad choices even when faced with facts that refute old thinking? Dana tried again and again to show Rufus how he was hurting those he said he loved, it failed to register. Trapped between two worlds how do we extricate ourselves and remain unchanged. Or do we? Who was really trapped, Rufus or Dana? Do you always risk loosing a piece of yourself when trying to save the soul of another?