Saturday, April 28, 2007
Kindred is Octavia Butler's time travel classic. I first heard about it in an interview with the author on NPR about ten years ago. Dana is an African American woman living in America in the 1970s who is married to a white man and has just moved into a new house, when she begins to time travel back and forth to the antebellum south. She realizes that each time she being called there to save the life of Rufus, a white boy who she comes to find out is her ancestor. Her husband begins to time travel with her and each trip into the past is progressively more dangerous. The book has a lot to say about race, gender and power, and has become a bit of a period piece itself (Dana is referred to as Black, rather than African American, for example). Interesting and worthwhile.