Kindred (Bluestreak)

Octavia Butler
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.


Reviewed: 2021-02-04
Reviewed: 2020-05-21
everyone's favorite book by everyone's favorite author is brutal as fuck. or maybe i've grown tender from slamming down the black women authors canon taken up in spillers' essay *a hateful passion, a lost love*: cave-ins, floods, rape-- i need to stop reading about horrible things happening to black people, especially since you really don't have to turn to literature for that, just look at yr fb feed. when i got to the second or third whipping it dawned on me that i need a fucking break. notwithstanding, this literalizing analogy for black study is absorbing for anyone who's been told by a non-black person to stop living in the past. it's a masterpiece even though i haven't read sci-fi in at least 20 years, and i was initially having misgivings about the lack of detail in character descriptions and the tv-like immediacy of the dramatic dialogue. if people have issues with *django unchained* i can fortunately now mention this book and how you really want jamie foxx to show up and fill the whiteys fulla lead.
Reviewed: 2019-05-17
This is my second time reading Kindred, and I appreciated it so much more than the first time around that I am rating it a full 5, which I reserve only for books I would purchase as reference books to keep with me (and that is literally only a handfull, as I am a minimalist).

I'm sure that others have summarised the book, so I will only add that I found her writing clear, not at all heavy-handed, and that she gets multiple points across in ways that I found both surprising and gratifying.

I was a bit surprised that she left Harriet Jacobs off of her list of famous escaped MD slaves, but then [b:Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl|152519|Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl |Harriet Jacobs||330710] was not taken seriously, apparently, until recently with the release of [b:Harriet Jacobs: A Life|66429|Harriet Jacobs A Life|Jean Fagan Yellin||64414]. I was also a bit surprised not to see her mention the use of quilts as markers for escaping slaves, well documented in [b:Hidden in Plain View: A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad|625491|Hidden in Plain View A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad|Jacqueline L. Tobin||835670] and other works. But that might also have distracted from her purpose, so it is yet another lesson of the craft of writing that I will gratefully hope to learn from this wonderful writer of blessed memory.

Read, Write, Dream, Teach !
August 29th, 12016 HE
Reviewed: 2018-07-29

What a fabulous book, I don't know why I haven't read it sooner. The writing is stellar. Characters are very well-formed. The book offers a hard, uneasy look at early 19th century south and its practice of slavery. Totally worth the time investment!

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