Kindred

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Overview

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 across the years to save him. After this first summons, Dana is drawn back, again and again, to the plantation to protect Rufus and ensure that he will grow to manhood and father the daughter who will become Dana's ancestor. Yet each time Dana's...
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1979 Hardcover Very Good in Very Good-dust jacket 0385150598. Used hardcover edition with dust jacket. early reprint, not a first, not book club. $8.95 cover price intact on ... front dj flap. deckled edges. light shelfwear, corners perhaps mildly bumped. jacket is somewhat scuffed and has a bit of wear at the edges and a few very small tears. pages are clean, straight, tightly bound and free of marks.; 8.10 X 5.60 X 1 inches; 264 pages. Read more Show Less

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1979 First edition Good 0385150598 Good. (Binding: Hardcover, Jacket: Very Good) Cloth, 22 cm, 264 pages. First Edition. Former library copy. Good? but for residue on front ... endpaper from library sticker. In dustjacket; jacket has mild staining on inside front flap. Black marker stain on upper edge pages. Read more Show Less

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1979 Hard cover First edition. Good in good dust jacket. Signed by author. VG/VG 264 p. 1st edition hardcover from Doubleday, 1979. SIGNED BY OCTAVIA E BUTLER! VERY GOOD IN VERY ... GOOD DJ. An ex-library copy. Larry Schwinger jacket art. Read more Show Less

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Kindred

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Overview

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 across the years to save him. After this first summons, Dana is drawn back, again and again, to the plantation to protect Rufus and ensure that he will grow to manhood and father the daughter who will become Dana's ancestor. Yet each time Dana's sojourns become longer and more dangerous, until it is uncertain whether or not her life will end, long before it has even begun.
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Editorial Reviews

Sacred Life
Using the techniques of science fiction, Octavia Butler in Kindred tangles in a startlingly unique and imaginative way with some of the most fundamental questions about slavery: How does one become mentally enslaved? What is the nature of the slave-master relationship? What is the relevance of slavery to modern-day descendants of slaves?

Dana Franklin, a black woman writer, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday in 1976 when she is snatched from her Southern California home and transported to the bank of a river in the antebellum South where she saves the life of a young white child who appears to be drowning. When the child's parents arrive, they begin to beat Dana; when the child's father attempts to shoot her, she is transported back to the twentieth century. The child is Rufus Weylin, whom Dana later discovers is to be the father of one of her ancestors, a child born of Weylin's rape of Alice Greenwood, one of his slaves. Thus, the preservation of his life is critical to Dana's survival. She is transported to the nineteenth century whenever his life is in danger, and she returns to the twentieth century whenever her life is in danger.

She begins to develop an attachment to Rufus; in every life-saving encounter with him, she attempts to teach him not to fall into the racism endemic in his family and southern society. In essence, she tries to save both his body and his soul. But her trips back in time are too infrequent to have any lasting effect on Weylin, who buys into the racist and sexist system that surrounds him. Dana takes an interest in the Weylin slaves, particularly Alice, and uses her literacy and knowledge of modern medical skills to help them. But in order to guarantee her own existence in the future, she also must encourage Alice to have sex with Rufus. Eventually, Dana too is made a slave and forced into an intimate understanding of the horrors of slavery and her own limitations.

The tension of the oddly symbiotic relationship between Dana and Weylin makes this book a riveting read. By transporting a modern-day African American woman into slavery, Butler vividly brings to life the hardships endured by the slaves. Dana frequently compares her strength and survival skills to those of the enslaved women and finds herself wanting. In the end, Dana finds the strength to break free of her physical slavery and the hold that the past has on her, while ensuring her own survival in the present, but she can never again forget the struggles of her exploited ancestors.

From the Publisher
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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385150590
  • Publisher: Beacon
  • Publication date: 7/28/1979
  • Pages: 264

Meet 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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Table of Contents

Prologue 9
The River 12
The Fire 18
The Fall 52
The Fight 108
The Storm 189
The Rope 240
Epilogue 262
Reader's Guide 265
Critical Essay 265
Discussion Questions 285
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 258 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(172)

4 Star

(59)

3 Star

(18)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 259 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    could not put this book down!

    I was given this book for Christmas and I was a little skeptical of it at first, but once I started reading it, i could not put it down!! The first few sentences had me HOOKED. I think the story plot is absolutely fantastic and very creative! This book has it all. Its romantic at times, but can also be very exciting at others. The way the book was written and how it was broken up into small sections really helps you get through it very fast. You always say to yourself, maybe just one more section, one more section and before you know it the book is finished! I also think that the whole idea of a black woman going back in time to help her white ancestor stay alive so her family line wouldn't be destroyed is so original! great book!!

    12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Good Novel

    I could not put down this novel. I am going to try another of her novels as soon as I can.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 10, 2009

    a mix of time travel and genealogy

    When Dana is transported back to the early 1800s, this late twentieth century woman meets her great-grandfathers(2,3 or 4X great-grandparents.) The problem is that Dana is a 26 year old black woman from California and Rufus is a small white child living on his father's plantation in Maryland. Rufus and his parents treat her as a slave, but Dana has always been free. Her modern mindset is all wrong for the time when Rufus was alive and it puts her in great danger---especially her ability to read and write. Her goal is to help Rufus-and herself-- survive until he fathers her great-great-grandmother.
    The plot is great and the conflicts are very powerful. This reminds me of Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin(about a white man who disguised himself as a black man), which I read about 35 years ago. These books make the reader so aware of the injustices of slavery and discrimination.
    If Dana hadn't known her own family history, she would not have had such a strong reason to time travel. If it had happened to me, I would have been asking Rufus' parents for their family histories--to put more branches on my family tree!

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 10, 2011

    wow

    i read this book in college and i couldnt put it down! i can read this book over and over again def a must read for your nook!

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Wow - Better than the time travelers wife

    This was on Barnes and Nobel Recommended. I thought it was better than the time travelers wife plus it gives you a perspective of the history of slaves. How brave they were and what they endured. Good read.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 30, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Another great read by Butler

    I loved this book. I couldnt put it down I just had to see what happened next. I went back and forth about reading it for awhile. Im so glad I read it.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 21, 2011

    Kindred speaks volumes...

    Octavia E. Butler's writing whisks her readers on a journey through time. You will find yourself pulled to page unable to tear away from this tale. This story reached out to me from a library shelf since then I have bought it as a gift or as a traveling companion. I highly reccomend you read it today!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2011

    Great

    I started reading this book because my friend had it. It was great I couldnt put it down. Must read. It has a great story line. And very phenomenal.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 25, 2011

    Great Book

    I absoulutely could not put this book down. Very good writing and story line. Definitly a page turner.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Don't miss this book

    I remember reading this book for the first time and being blown away by it. The story, the characters, the era... just fascinating. Quickly this author became my favorite and I read all of her works. Unfortunately she died after her last novel, Fledgling.<BR/><BR/>I actually bought the audio and have "reread" it numerous times. <BR/><BR/>I am not going to give any of the plot away, just to say that this is the best time travel novel since Time and Again by jack Finney.<BR/><BR/>I doubt you will be disappointed.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    One of the best books I've ever read!!!

    This book takes you on an adventure. I don't want to give it away, but you won't be disappointed.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2008

    A MUST READ

    I really enjoyed this book! I enjoyed it so much that I just did not want it to end. I am a big fan of historical fiction and this is my favorite book!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent Book!

    I loved the suspension, truelly captivating... Good Book! Omg!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2008

    A reviewer

    This book was incredible. Im a big fan of historicial fiction, but this book was unlike any other book Ive read. There was never a moment where I willingly put it down. When I finally finished, I was happy for the characters, but sad for myself... A must read, many times!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2007

    Wow.

    This is a great sci-fi historical fiction novel. Personally, I hate historical fiction, but this was, well, amazing. Octavia E. Butler joins both in an unimaginable way, making this novel so memorable. I've already read the book twice and I bought it a month ago. I was so surprised at how good the book was! THIS IS A MUST READ!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2007

    Reading this book should be on your list of things to do before you die!

    I usually HATE fiction. I COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN! Let's put it this way. I named my dog Rufus. Seriously. You must read!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2007

    A Must-Read for youth

    We had to read this for school. I completely understand why. This book deals with historical, political, and social issues of the ante bellum south in comparison to more modern days. Written over thirty years ago, this has been reprinted and should continue to be reprinted for decades. A beautifully-written classic.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2007

    Awesome

    This is an excellent book. I enjoyed it from beginning to end.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2006

    Great book- bad ending

    I had to read this book for school and was captured from the very beginning. The only downfall of Kindred was that it had a very anticlimactic ending. This was disappointing to me after the rest of the book had been so good.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2007

    Love it !!!

    From the first page of the book i was captured... i could not put the book down...and when i did stop reading i would keep thinking about what would happen next in the book. i would totally recommend anyone to read this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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