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Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation
Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation
Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation
Ebook251 pages4 hours

Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

4/5

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About this ebook

Octavia E. Butler’s bestselling literary science-fiction masterpiece, Kindred, now in graphic novel format.
 
More than 35 years after its release, Kindred continues to draw in new readers with its deep exploration of the violence and loss of humanity caused by slavery in the United States, and its complex and lasting impact on the present day. Adapted by celebrated academics and comics artists Damian Duffy and John Jennings, this graphic novel powerfully renders Butler’s mysterious and moving story, which spans racial and gender divides in the antebellum South through the 20th century. 
 
Butler’s most celebrated, critically acclaimed work tells the story of Dana, a young black woman who is suddenly and inexplicably transported from her home in 1970s California to the pre–Civil War South. As she time-travels between worlds, one in which she is a free woman and one where she is part of her own complicated familial history on a southern plantation, she becomes frighteningly entangled in the lives of Rufus, a conflicted white slaveholder and one of Dana’s own ancestors, and the many people who are enslaved by him.
 
Held up as an essential work in feminist, science-fiction, and fantasy genres, and a cornerstone of the Afrofuturism movement, there are over 500,000 copies of Kindred in print. The intersectionality of race, history, and the treatment of women addressed within the original work remain critical topics in contemporary dialogue, both in the classroom and in the public sphere.
 
Frightening, compelling, and richly imagined, Kindred offers an unflinching look at our complicated social history, transformed by the graphic novel format into a visually stunning work for a new generation of readers.

Editor's Note

Sci-fi masterpiece…

A must-read classic from the godmother of science fiction gets new life in this graphic novel edition. A young black woman travels back and forth in time between 1970s California and a pre-Civil War plantation in a story that’s foundational for feminist, sci-fi/fantasy, and Afrofuturism works.

LanguageEnglish
PublisherABRAMS
Release dateJan 10, 2017
ISBN9781613128626
Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation
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Author

Octavia E. Butler

Octavia E. Butler (1947–2006) was a bestselling and award-winning author, considered one of the best science fiction writers of her generation. She received both the Hugo and Nebula awards, and in 1995 became the first author of science fiction to receive a MacArthur Fellowship. She was also awarded the prestigious PEN Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000. Her first novel, Patternmaster (1976), was praised both for its imaginative vision and for Butler’s powerful prose, and spawned four prequels, beginning with Mind of My Mind (1977) and finishing with Clay’s Ark (1984). Although the Patternist series established Butler among the science fiction elite, it was Kindred (1979), a story of a black woman who travels back in time to the antebellum South, that brought her mainstream success. In 1985, Butler won Nebula and Hugo awards for the novella “Bloodchild,” and in 1987 she published Dawn, the first novel of the Xenogenesis trilogy, about a race of aliens who visit earth to save humanity from itself. Fledgling (2005) was Butler’s final novel. She died at her home in 2006.

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Reviews for Kindred

Rating: 4.171270718232044 out of 5 stars
4/5

181 ratings14 reviews

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  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    CN for entire review: Racism, Rape, Slavery

    Best for: Really anyone. I don’t think you need to be into graphic novels or science fiction to enjoy this work.

    In a nutshell: Somehow Dana — a young Black woman living with her white husband in 1976 — ends up being transported back to the mid-1800s when a young son of a slave master fears death. Without warning, she is then transported back to 1776. This cycle continues, and times including her husband.

    Line that sticks with me: “I never realized how easily people could be trained to accept slavery.” (p 89)

    Why I chose it: My husband received this as a gift this year and thought I would also enjoy it.

    Review: This was an intense read, possibly made more intense by the portrayal of the images associated with the it. In a traditional novel, we imagine the scenes. And its possible what we imagine is more dramatic than, say, what might end up in a film adaptation. But with this graphic novel format, the images showing the whippings, the attempted rapes, the horror, are all quite real.

    Below are spoilers, as they were hard to avoid in the areas I’m most interested in exploring.

    Dana’s relationship with Rufus — the boy, then teen, then man who she is connected to — is complicated. Saving his life often means saving her own, but keeping him alive may mean other things, like the continued mistreatment of other humans. Yet if she kills him before he issues free papers for the slaves, all she does is risk those slaves being sold to yet another white person. Dana has some sympathy for Rufus at time, and the reader can sometimes see that perhaps there is a grain of humanity in him, but then he refuses to embrace that grain and continues along the path his dead slave-owning father led him down.

    Her relationship to the slaves on the plantation is also complicated. She doesn’t speak like them, she can read and write, and she gets some preferential treatment that keeps her from the harder labor in the fields. But she still gets whipped, and has her life threated. She has to ‘remember her place’ and try to figure out how to help the slaves without putting their lives — or her own — at risk.

    I’ve don’t believe I’ve finished any of Ms. Butler’s books before. I believe I started one for a book club but didn’t connect. This one, however, I couldn’t put down. The science fiction is there for sure, but it isn’t the main focus. Yes, it’s about woman who gets pulled into the past without control, and then returned seemingly beyond her control. Time passes in the past but when she returns, minutes or hours have passed in the present day. We don’t know how the mechanic works, and we never find out (we do learn the why, sort of). And yes, there is a level of tension in terms of when will she get pulled back next, and can she return before she is hurt badly. But it isn’t the main point.

    The main point is, as I see it, survival. How does one survive in this time and place — Maryland, during the slavery era of the U.S. — when one has no experience of it? And how does one survive when one does? Is there any complexity to slaveholders, or are they all 100% evil? Does “product of their time” mean anything? Is it an excuse, or simply an explanation? How does a slave survive? How does a free Black person survive? How does anyone thrive?

    I do think we probably lose a few things in the adaptation to graphic novel, which is what kept me from giving this four stars. Regardless, I’m definitely glad that I read this, and I’ll be thinking on it for awhile.

    Also — Cannonball!
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    I have never read a graphic novel adaptation before so I thought I’d try it out. I read this book rather quickly and I didn’t really enjoy only the dialogue from the caracters. Something was missing. I don’t think I would recommend this, perhaps the novel is better.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    First of all, I still haven't read the novel Kindred, so I have no idea how they compare. It, along with the rest of Butler's books that I haven't already read, is of course on my TBR list. I've gone back and forth on whether I should read the novel before the graphic novel, but when I bumped into this at the library I gave in.This is a difficult book. What if, for unclear reasons, you had to keep going back in time to save the life of your racist asshat ancestor in order for you to exist? And to be perfectly clear, the you here refers to a black woman, and the ancestor is a slave owner in pre-war South?I think that I am glad that I encountered this book first in graphic novel format. I think the "watching something happen" level of empathy must be less painful than the "seeing the events directly through the narrator's eyes" level of empathy, and for that I'm grateful. If possible. I'm even more interested in the novel now, but I'm glad to have a better idea what to expect going in.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    I really enjoyed the creative novel and the story, but it was not easy reading it through Scribd as the text boxes were to small and I couldn't zoom in.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Raw but real! Fascinating to read and learn about the true history of slavery back the in the states.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    meh, ending wasnt very good, not much action throughout the whole book, long and drawn out , meh
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Wow ....This is a first for me. It was very informative.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    I read the original novel first, and in my opinion, the story does lose a fair bit of its subtlety and elegance in the translation to graphic novel. Still, this adaptation is very loyal to the original; the rawness and potency of its message remain undiluted. An increase in accessibility for Butler's work is well worth celebrating, and if you needed a reminder of why, the glowing introduction by Nnedi Okorafor provides it.

    1 person found this helpful

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    A young black woman in the 1970s gets unexpectedly and inexplicably time-travelled to a slave plantation in Maryland in the early 1800s. She meets her ancestors, who are not who she thought they were, and has to somehow manage to survive as a black woman long before the abolition of slavery without going crazy. She periodically pops back to the 1970s just long enough to recover before being sent back, sometimes with her white husband in tow.I have not read Kindred before, but this newly released graphic novel adaptation seemed as good an introduction as any. The illustrations are wonderful; they convey the dirty, bleak surroundings without being overwhelming.One of the most interesting aspects to me was the setting of the 1810s instead of the 1860s. There are tons of books, movies, and TV about slaves just before the start of the Civil War, with the taste of freedom in the air. But those are white-person-friendly stories, where slavery only exists for a small amount of time before nice white people come along and set everyone free. That hope does not exist for these characters. Abraham Lincoln is only an infant at this time, and Harriet Tubman hasn't been born yet. This story pulls no punches with how brutal life was for the slaves, how different groups of slaves felt about each other, and the dynamics of interracial relationships both back then and in the 1970s. I highly recommend it, whether you've read the original or not.

    1 person found this helpful

  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
    1/5
    I've read several of her books in the past, but I've never been an Octavia E. Butler fan. It's been a long time since I've read her work though, and I always had a nagging impulse that I should go back and try to re-read some of her stuff, so I welcomed this graphic novel adaptation as a way to dip my toe back in the water. This is either a very bad adaptation or I've been too generous in my evaluation that Butler's work was okay but mostly forgettable. As presented here, Kindred is a dreary mess full of character's acting awfully. Most unpleasant in story and art. The art is blocky, scratchy and features a distracting overlay of white lines whose purpose, I can only guess, is to somehow accent the inkwork.
  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
    1/5
    This would be really cool if it wasn't impossible to read. The text is way to small. I can barely even see the pictures and this app does not have an option to zoom in. I have to read everything in large print. There is no way I would ever be able to read this even on a bigger screen.

    1 person found this helpful

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    *reviewed from uncorrected egalley*

    graphic novel adaptation of Octavia Butler's time travel/slavery novel. Excellent storytelling and illustrations, and of course the story is A . Very well done.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Well. If I'm going to be stranded convalescing on the couch, I might as well do it gripped by this fairly superb adaptation. What a terrific and horrifying story. The art didn't always gel with me, but Duffy and Jennings did the novel justice. It must have been an enormous undertaking on so many levels.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    It took a bit to get into kindred. It was very slow going and I felt like I would’ve preferred the novel to the graphic novel because it was a bit hard to understand what was going on. The more you read the more of the story envelopes you and makes you want to continue. Why is this woman going back in time? How come fear and pain keeps taking her back to this one child? Why does time pass in merely seconds/minutes/hours in modern time but could be years in historical time? Why do things go back-and-forth with them like bags and knives and whips and lashes and marks? The graphics are phenomenal . The artwork is amazing and this book gives you a feeling of real history. The story is so complete I don’t feel the need to read the novel but I think eventually I probably will. I understand why this is one so many awards why it’s been on so many best of the best lists. It deserves it and it’s brought new people to the world of Octavia Butler. Definitely a great read that I will recommend to others.

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Kindred - Octavia E. Butler

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