by | Read by Kim Staunton

Published by Recorded Books

The first science fiction written by a Black woman, Kindred has become a cornerstone of Black American literature. This combination of slave memoir, fantasy, and historical fiction is a novel of rich literary complexity. Having just celebrated her 26th birthday in 1976 California, Dana, an African-American woman, is suddenly and inexplicably wrenched through time into antebellum Maryland. After saving a drowning white boy there, she finds herself staring into the barrel of a shotgun and is transported back to the present just in time to save her life. During numerous such time-defying episodes with the same young man, she realizes the challenge she's been given: to protect this young slaveholder until he can father her own great-grandmother. Author Octavia E. Butler skillfully juxtaposes the serious issues of slavery, human rights, and racial prejudice with an exciting science fiction, romance, and historical adventure. Kim Staunton's narrative talent magically transforms the listener's earphones into an audio time machine.

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AudioFile Review


Being transported in time to the antebellum South would hardly be the first choice of a young black woman of the 1970s--even if it's to save the life of the slaveholder who otherwise might never grow up to be her ancestor. This may seem farfetched to some, but it provides the framework for a poignant and thought-provoking novel about slavery, survival and human nature. Kim Staunton removes any sense of strangeness for the reader and moves skillfully between the time periods as this unusual time-link continues. Her use of accents not only directs the listener through the changing settings, but also showcases the dynamic attitudes and emotions of the characters and their relationships with each other and the shifting social contexts in which they find themselves. J.E.M. ©AudioFile, Portland, Maine

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