UPCOMING: Athens Public Library Winter Book Club on Octavia Butler’s Kindred for Black History Month

I have been invited to lead and moderate the Athens Public Library’s Winter Book Club this February for Black History Month.  Over the first three weeks of the month on Thursdays, we will be reading and discussing Octavia Butler’s Kindred. I was suggested by one of my colleagues in the English Department at Ohio University; it is definitely nice to be asked and to do some community engagement in the area. I will confess that I am a little bit nervous because I do not know what it will be like, what to expect, what I will have to do, and will I be fun. Kindred is a really tough book to boot. But it will give me a chance to read the novel (I have only read the graphic novel adaptation thus far) and to develop some questions and entrances to the text. After this, maybe I will add the novel to one of my future courses.

The sessions are free and open to the public and will be in-person at the library/hybrid.  Here is the event info:

In celebration of African American History Month, we are reading the classic science fiction novel Kindred by Octavia Butler. We embark on an engaging time-slip story, centered around a Black woman living in Los Angeles in 1976, who becomes an accidental traveler through time. Jockeyed back and forth between present and past by an unknown cosmic force, the female protagonist Dana Franklin confronts a community of slaves and their masters at a plantation in 19th-century Maryland, which forms a strange mirror on the present day. This is an adventure of gripping human drama that plays upon powerful connections between history and the time we live in, focusing a hope to create a better future for women and Americans of African heritage. The author, Octavia Butler, who died in 2006, was inducted posthumously into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2010.

Our guest discussion leader is Dr. Edmond Chang, Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Ohio University.


Session 1, Thursday, 2/3, 7-8 PM: https://events.myacpl.org/events/winter-book-club-kindred-octavia-butler-part-1-3-hybrid

Session 2, Thursday, 2/10, 7-8 PM: https://events.myacpl.org/events/winter-book-club-kindred-octavia-butler-part-2-3-hybrid

Session 3, Thursday, 2/17, 7-8 PM: https://events.myacpl.org/events/winter-book-club-kindred-octavia-butler-part-3-3-hybrid

Thank you to Todd Bastin for the invitation and for helping me get everything set up and sorted. I look forward to discussing the book!

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