Kindred - Octavia E. Butler


By Octavia E. Butler

  • Release Date: 1997-07-20
  • Genre: Science Fiction
Score: 4.5
From 1,261 Ratings


From the New York Times bestselling author of Parable of the Sower and MacArthur “Genius” Grant, Nebula, and Hugo award winner

The visionary time-travel classic whose Black female hero is pulled through time to face the horrors of American slavery and explores the impacts of racism, sexism, and white supremacy then and now.

“I lost an arm on my last trip home. My left arm.”

Dana’s torment begins when she suddenly vanishes on her 26th birthday from California, 1976, and is dragged through time to antebellum Maryland to rescue a boy named Rufus, heir to a slaveowner’s plantation. She soon realizes the purpose of her summons to the past: protect Rufus to ensure his assault of her Black ancestor so that she may one day be born. As she endures the traumas of slavery and the soul-crushing normalization of savagery, Dana fights to keep her autonomy and return to the present.

Blazing the trail for neo-slavery narratives like Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad and Ta-Nehisi Coates’s The Water Dancer, Butler takes one of speculative fiction’s oldest tropes and infuses it with lasting depth and power. Dana not only experiences the cruelties of slavery on her skin but also grimly learns to accept it as a condition of her own existence in the present. “Where stories about American slavery are often gratuitous, reducing its horror to explicit violence and brutality, Kindred is controlled and precise” (New York Times).

“Reading Octavia Butler taught me to dream big, and I think it’s absolutely necessary that everybody have that freedom and that willingness to dream.” 
—N. K. Jemisin 

Developed for television by writer/executive producer Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Watchmen), executive producers also include Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields (The Americans, The Patient), and Darren Aronofsky (The Whale). Janicza Bravo (Zola) is director and an executive producer of the pilot. Kindred stars Mallori Johnson, Micah Stock, Ryan Kwanten, and Gayle Rankin.


  • An amazing book

    By Am book reader
    and an amazing writer. A must read.
  • Thought Provocation at Its Best

    By Mitokandrea
    I really thought deeply about the characters on my work commute when I couldn’t take the time to read what happened to them next. So well connected to a time so few of us can truly grasp.
  • Captivating, but left me hanging at the end

    By mouthyalmighty
    I loved this book! It contained so many vocabulary gems, historical references, and suspenseful moments that often prompted outbursts of support and disparagement for many of the characters. While engaging, the book left me hanging at the end as the final chapter concluded abruptly, a choice I’m assuming Ms. Butler intended, and transitioned to a prologue of events that I’m struggling to comprehend without a bridge. So here I am with a mound of questions that I won’t disclose to avoid further spoiling the book, and cliffhanger discomfort that I have yet to assuage within novel realms of social media. In sum, the novel is def worth the read and I guess it did its job if it left me wanting more in the end lol.
  • Captivating yet frustrating read.

    By MrsSanaiCapri
    It took me a while to finish this book. (About a year) mostly because I would get so angry with the event of the book and have to put it down, calm myself and then return. But I enjoyed it over all.
  • Amazing!!!

    By FuturebossCJ
    This book keeps you locked in at every moment, Engaged from start to finish…..Amazing book to read and possibly could’ve been lengthened with a lot more if wanted to…
  • Historical Fiction at its Finest!!!

    By Born Gift3d
  • Kindred

    By marzbars19
    Great plot , needs more details to many gaps in the story …
  • Yes

    By iwantsomemoney101
    What I didn’t like was the false advertising by other people saying Dana started to accept slavery, which she did not she just accepted her circumstances that she would be treated as one. She did not accept slavery itself. I loved the book though, the portraying of the relationship between house slaves and field slaves. The portraying of the stereotype called “The Mammy”. I also loved how the author portrayed how easily you become the time era you’re raised in. Rufus was not born racist, and I found the little boy hilarious in the beginning chapters and it was a journey to see him become just like his father in the end. The author portrayed so many dynamics of this time perfectly, and the fact that the center relationship was interracial and didn’t take a racist turn like expected was the cherry on top. 5/5
  • Sci-Fi or documentary?

    By gizzie's dad
    Somewhat short of what I expected in style ala Toni Morrison, Kindred makes up for in historical narrative, unexplained teleportation, and page-turning intrigue.
  • Kindred

    By Lexi'Marie
    I started watching 1 episode on Hulu. Something told me to search and see if there is a book . Now I’m reading alongside of the show &’ it’s amazing ! Def recommend if your into twist and turns ! I CAN wait to finish . It’s to good to complete 😩