Kindred / Fledgling / Collected Stories

Kindred / Fledgling / Collected Stories Review

An original and eerily prophetic writer, Octavia E. Butler used the conventions of science fiction to explore the dangerous legacy of racism in America in harrowingly personal terms. She broke new ground with books that featured complex Black female protagonists—“I wrote myself in,” she would later recall—establishing herself as one of the pioneers of the Afrofuturist aesthetic. In 1995 she became the first science fiction writer to receive a MacArthur Fellowship, in recognition of her achievement in creating new aspirations for the genre and for American literature. This first volume in the Library of America edition of Butler’s collected works gathers her 1979 masterpiece, Kindred, one of the landmark American novels of the last half century; her final novel, Fledgling; and her collected short stories.

In Kindred, Dana, a Black woman whose husband is white, is pulled back and forth between the California present and the pre–Civil War South, where she finds herself enslaved on the plantation of a white ancestor whose life she must save in order to preserve her own. Gripping and suspenseful, the novel uses the conceit of time travel to plumb the mutilating structures of slavery and the terrible cost they continue to exact.

A woman wakes up covered in burns in a mountainside cave with no knowledge of who she is or what has happened to her. In time she discovers that she is a vampire, and that there are others like her. Among the long-lived Ina, though, Shori is something new: an experimental birth, containing African American human DNA that gives her brown skin and the feared and fearful ability to go out in sunlight. Part murder mystery, part fantasy thriller, Fledgling is Butler’s incomparable take on the vampire novel.

This Library of America volume also includes eight short stories and five essays—including two previously uncollected—as well as a newly researched chronology of Butler’s life and career and helpful explanatory notes by scholar Gerry Canavan. Butler’s friend, the writer and editor Nisi Shawl, provides an introduction.

Title:Kindred / Fledgling / Collected Stories
Edition Language:English

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    Kindred / Fledgling / Collected Stories Reviews

  • MarilynW

    Octavia E. Butler: Kindred, Fledgling, Collected Stories by Octavia E. ButlerIt was after I read a review for Butler's story Kindred, that I found that I could read this book with several of Butler's ...

  • Pat (not getting friend updates currently)

    Octavia E. ButlerThis is an interesting compilation. It contains two entire novels - the first and last books she wrote and a series of short stories and essays on the art of writing. Butler is appare...

  • Kaa

    On the whole, a very strong collection of Octavia Butler's work. This compendium includes Kindred and Fledgling (her only two novels that were not, at the time of her death, part of a longer series); ...

  • Dave

    As stated in the title, this lengthy collections offers the reader a broad perspective of Butler's work. It includes her most renowned novel, Kindred, her final novel, Fledgling, eight short stories, ...

  • Leticia

    Original, deep, and thought provoking. I will continue to read other books by Octavia E. Butler after this awesome collection.Kindred - Not an easy read, but deeply touching. - 5 stars!***************...

  • TimInCalifornia

    This collection is a necessary and meaningful recognition of Octavia Butler's brilliance as an author. Reading Kindred nearly 20 years after I first read it, I recalled all over again what an educatio...

  • Liz (Quirky Cat)

    I received a copy of Octavia E. Butler: Kindred, Fledgling, Collected Stories in exchange for a fair and honest review. Octavia E. Butler is a foundational author of science fiction – yet I had nev...

  • Ralph Blackburn

    Octavia Butler: Kindred, Fledgling, Stories and Essays: Library of America. This is a large omnibus of Octavia Butler's writings including: two very good novels, eight of her best stories, and several...

  • Paul

    Not surprisingly, a solid collection of stories from a well-respected author. Her talent shines brightly here, and this will likely appeal to most sci-fi fans, particularly those interested in stories...

  • Opal E

    Octavia Butler has been on the top of my too read list for many years. I do not know why I hadn’t gotten round to reading her just yet, but I know that I couldn’t pass the opportunity when I saw t...