The premise of Kindred is that Dana, an African-American woman living in the late 1970s, is suddenly transported back in time to a Maryland slave plantation in 1819. It turns out that she’s been called back in time to save the son of the white plantation owner–a boy who, she soon learns, is one of her ancestors. The novel makes slavery seem more real, and more awful, than any historical work I’ve read, including Howard Zinn. Well-written, troubling, and thought provoking.
The author, Octavia Butler, recently passed away at the age of 58. What a terrible loss. Annalee Newitz wrote a moving tribute.