Paperback, 264 pages

Published Oct. 4, 1988 by The Women's Press.

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5 stars (5 reviews)

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 repeatedly through time to the slave quarters, and each time the stay grows longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana’s life will end, long before it has a chance to begin.

11 editions

reviewed Kindred by Octavia E. Butler (Black women writers series)

Still powerful almost half a century on

4 stars

Content warning Minor plot information

reviewed Kindred by Octavia E. Butler (The Women's Press science fiction)

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..."