The New York Times best-selling author’s time-travel classic that makes us feel the horrors of American slavery and indicts our country’s lack of progress on racial reconciliation
Soon to be an FX Networks TV series adaptation with a pilot directed by Janicza Bravo (Zola), written by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Watchmen), and executive produced by Jacobs-Jenkins and Darren Aronofsky (The Fountain)
“I lost an arm on my last trip home. My left arm.”
Dana’s torment begins when she suddenly vanishes on her 26th birthday from California, 1976, and is dragged through time to antebellum Maryland to rescue a boy named Rufus, heir to a slaveowner’s plantation. She soon realizes the purpose of her summons to the past: protect Rufus to ensure his assault of her Black ancestor so that she may one day be born. As she endures the traumas of slavery and the soul-crushing normalization of savagery, Dana fights to keep her autonomy and return to the present.
Blazing the trail for neo-slavery narratives like Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad and Ta-Nehisi Coates’s The Water Dancer, Butler takes one of speculative fiction’s oldest tropes and infuses it with lasting depth and power. Dana not only experiences the cruelties of slavery on her skin but also grimly learns to accept it as a condition of her own existence in the present. “Where stories about American slavery are often gratuitous, reducing its horror to explicit violence and brutality, Kindred is controlled and precise” (New York Times).
About the Author
Octavia E. Butler (1947–2006) is the New York Times best-selling author of many novels, including Dawn, Wild Seed, and Parable of the Sower. She was the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Grant, a PEN West Lifetime Achievement Award, 2 Nebula Awards, and 3 Hugo Awards, among others.
“A marvel of imagination, empathy and detail.” —Stephen Kearse, New York 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
“Sixteen years after Butler’s death, her legacy of fierce imagination feels more relevant than ever. With Kindred illuminating so much of the most compelling speculative fiction, the book stands as an icon for recasting today’s challenges—envisioning new role models and possibilities in the process.” —Sheree Renée Thomas, Scientific American
“Reading Octavia Butler taught me to dream big, and I think it’s absolutely necessary that everybody have that freedom and that willingness to dream.” —N. K. Jemisin
“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
“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
“One of the most original, thought-provoking works examining race and identity.” —Lynell George, Los Angeles Times
“A startling and engrossing commentary on the complex actuality and continuing heritage of American slavery.” —Sherley Anne Williams, Ms.