Kindred (Octavia E. Butler)

28 October 2020


In 1976, Dana dreams of being a writer. In 1815, she is assumed a slave.

When Dana first meets Rufus on a Maryland plantation, he's drowning. She saves his life - and it will happen again and again.

Neither of them understands his power to summon her whenever his life is threatened, nor the significance of the ties that bind them.

And each time Dana saves him, the more aware she is that her own life might be over before it's even begun.

This is the extraordinary story of two people bound by blood, separated by so much more than time.

Average Rating:

Sinclair Manson (5 November 2020 22:25)

What I loved most about this book was its grounding in character. Instead of presenting the institution of slavery, it allows that institution to emerge from the choices made by the characters. That many of those characters are slaves seems like a deliberate irony. This approach creates a paradox, because these characters are trapped by slavery. By showing how Rufus warps as he grows up, the reader is left with the impression, another irony, that slave master is the most trapped of all. All of this seems rooted in Dana's attempts to come to terms with Rufus as an ancestor and there is a deep compassion in the writing. This book provoked a lot of discussion and I expect to think about it for a long time to come.