Kindred by Octavia Butler

June 2021

“Harrowing” is the only word I could think of when I finished this book the other day. Painful, immersive, troubling, provocative, engrossing, emotional. This is a classic for good reason, and every theme it addresses (racial inequality, gender relations, abusive relationships, entrenched economic and social systems, human exploitation) is just as relevant now as when the book was written four decades ago. The “time travel” or “sci-fi” aspects of the book are incidental. The focus is on human relationships and power dynamics and how people make compromises with themselves and others to survive under brutal and oppressive systems designed to destroy their humanity.

Further reading…