Black History Month Book Recommendation: Kindred
I’ve been a fan of reading science fiction and fantasy for as long as can remember reading. Some of my favorite books to read were the Star Trek Universe books written by authors like Diane Duane. Fast forward several years later and hear about author Octavia E. Butler and her book Kindred.
Before I tell you about Kindred, let’s get to know Octavia E. Butler. She was born in 1947 in Pasadena and was raised by her mother and grandmother. According to her website, since her books explored themes of Black injustice, women’s rights, global warming, and political disparity, which are important, but heavy, her books didn’t become as popular until her death in 2006. Her website says that now her work is taught in over 200 colleges and universities around the country. I'll link a PBS video about Octavia E. Butler here, so you can find out more about her and her work.
Now, on to Kindred. The book follows a writer named Dana who travels back in time to the antebellum South and meets her ancestors. The book set in the 1970s explores Dana's reaction to seeing how her ancestors were treated along with her frustration and confusion at the time traveling happening to her. Each time she is transported from her home in California back to the plantation, her stays grow longer and she doesn’t know if she will be able to get back home. Because of Octavia’s excellent writing, while I was reading Kindred, I could actually feel the humidity of the plantation and feel the claustrophobic atmosphere of continuously being watched.
Kindred has been adapted into a series for FX on Hulu and the first season has eight episodes. It has been canceled on FX and is being shopped around to other networks for future seasons. The adaptation modernizes the story and changes a few other things that I won’t tell you about in order to not spoil the book or the TV series-watching experience.