Paperback, 287 pages

English language

Published March 12, 2008 by Beacon Press.

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4 stars (4 reviews)

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...

11 editions

Still powerful almost half a century on

4 stars

Content warning Minor plot information

Such an original and captivating storyline

5 stars

What a book. I was drawn in by the horrifying scenario that Dana found herself trapped in, but the examination of how slavery was so normalized, and how evil the institution of chattel slavery was.

I happened to have been in the middle of this book when a conspiracy theorist, racist member of my extended family brought up how whites are unfairly blamed for slavery. It made me realize that while the practice of owning people as slaves is gone, the same anti-black philosophy is still thriving among white men.

The idea that my family member or his ilk would tacitly endorse the return of slavery is slim, but, in finding themselves in Kevin's shoes might think similarly that "Hey, this isn't as bad as I thought it would be..."

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5 stars


  • African American women -- Fiction
  • Slaveholders -- Fiction
  • Time travel -- Fiction
  • Slavery -- Fiction
  • Slaves -- Fiction
  • Los Angeles (Calif.) -- Fiction
  • Southern States -- Fiction