Octavia E. Butler: Kindred

Octavia E. Butler (1947-2006) is one of the first Black science fiction writers. The African-American writer became well known in the early 1970s in an almost entirely white science fiction genre. In an Afro-futuristic world, Butler addressed important themes such as Black injustice, the climate crisis, women’s rights and political inequality.

Zus ‘n Zo, in collaboration with Uitgeverij Signatuur, presents the Dutch translation of the iconic masterpiece by Octavia E. Butler ‘Kindred’. (translation Ine Willems)

In Kindred – translated as ‘Verbonden’– the reader travels through time with Black female hero Dana to confront the horrors of slavery and examine the consequences of racism, sexism and white supremacy then and now. Together with special guests we celebrate the publication of ‘Verbonden’ and we reflect on the special work and life of Octavia E. Butler.

Butler was a visionary author, her work predicted our current reality while challenging societal and social issues such as the conservative Western view of gender identity, intergenerational trauma and decolonization. Butler’s books are therefore still very relevant today and an inspiration to many. What can we learn from this iconic novel? To what extent can ignoring the similarities between past and present dangerous?