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Kindred

Kindred

Staff Review

Staff Pick

Original
Tera
HPB Staff

Kindred

by Butler, Octavia E.
Time Travel for Social Change

Uncontrolled time travel, pre-Civil War south and a woman from 1976 called Dana fold together to create a mesmerizing and toxic concoction of social commentary, family and magic. The idea is simple, one that every reader of time travel should know like the back of their hand; Dana, our hero, is pulled out of time. She disappears from her apartment in San Francisco and is thrust onto a full working plantation. If Kindred had been any other basic time travel novel Dana would be there to save the world, to right some wrong and to be the chosen one for a time long past. There would be a mentor to offer protection and to shelter her as she learned to deal with the new world. None of this is the case. There is no mentor to save Dana, no evil to defeat and no grander plan for her. Dana is utterly and completely alone. That fact is what makes Kindred incredible. With no safety net, Dana is forced to make decisions that will see to her survival and very little else. Instead of trying to change the world Dana is forced to ask the question if the past is worth her life and her chance to return to the future. The choices and following consequences are haunting and require an open mind. As Dana continually gets pulled into the past for longer and longer frames of time she develops complex relationships with slaves and plantation owners alike who see the color of her skin first and foremost. Nothing about Kindred is easy. Crisp, clean writing carries emotionally poignant dialogue. Butler sketches the world lightly: she is more concerned with action and dialogue. While more descriptions of the environment would never hurt it does not distract from the story Butler is telling. Butler actively challenges the reader continuously on matters of racism, sexism, and abuse. Characters are faced with choices between the lesser of two evils. Every character Butler writes is in shades of gray and misshaped products of their time. Kindred is a novel that challenges social perception and questions how racism of the past echoes into the future. If you like time travel grounded in reality this book is a must read.

 
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Dana, a black woman, finds herself repeatedly transported to the antebellum South, where she must make sure that Rufus, the plantation owner's son, survives to father Dana's ancestor.



  • Condition: Used - Good
    HPB condition ratings
    • New: Item is brand new, unused and unmarked, in flawless condition.
    • Fine/Like New (F): No defects, little usage. May show remainder marks. Older books may show minor flaws.
    • Very Good (VG): Shows some signs of wear and is no longer fresh. Attractive. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
    • Good (G): Average used book with all pages present. Possible loose bindings, highlighting, cocked spine or torn dust jackets. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
    • Fair (FR): Obviously well-worn, but no text pages missing. May be without endpapers or title page. Markings do not interfere with readability. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
    • Poor (P): All text is legible but may be soiled and have binding defects. Reading copies and binding copies fall into this category. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
    Conditions Guide
  • Format: Paperback
  • Sold by: HPB Countryside
  • Seller rating:
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Beacon Pr
  • ISBN-13: 9780807083697
  • ISBN: 0807083690
  • Publication Year: 2004
  • Edition: 25 ANV



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HPB condition ratings
  • New: Item is brand new, unused and unmarked, in flawless condition.
  • Fine/Like New (F): No defects, little usage. May show remainder marks. Older books may show minor flaws.
  • Very Good (VG): Shows some signs of wear and is no longer fresh. Attractive. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Good (G): Average used book with all pages present. Possible loose bindings, highlighting, cocked spine or torn dust jackets. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Fair (FR): Obviously well-worn, but no text pages missing. May be without endpapers or title page. Markings do not interfere with readability. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Poor (P): All text is legible but may be soiled and have binding defects. Reading copies and binding copies fall into this category. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
  • Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
  • Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
  • Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
  • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: This movie is unopened and brand new.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): Near new. No defects, little sign of use. Plays perfectly. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. No skipping; no fuzzy or snowy frames in VHS.
  • Very Good (VG): Attractive and well cared for but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, but will play almost perfectly. For VHS: barely detectable distortion or very few fuzzy or snowy frames.
  • Good (G): This item is in okay condition and basically works well. There may be some minor distortion on VHS tape; slight scratching or wear on DVD.
  • Fair (FR): Basically plays, but may be obviously well-worn with some scratching or tape distortion.
  • Poor (P): Disc or tape is intact, but may be scratched or stretched. There may be skips or distortion or product defects.
Conditions Guide
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