Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Octavia E. Butler, John Jennings (Illustrations), Damian Duffy (Adapted by)

May 5, 2017
Boko Review, Kindred, Octavia E. Butler, John Jennings, Damian Dufffy, 2017 Read, InToriLexPublished By: Abrams Books on January 10, 2017
Format Read: ARC Edition (240 pages)
Genre: Historical Fiction/ Time Travel/ Sci-fi
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Giveaway Win
Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation
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.



I did not read the book, this graphic novel was adapted from first. I can't speak to any differences or similarities to the original novel. I can speak to the horror show of slavery, eloquently described with nuance throughout these pages. Slavery is apart of American History that most American's would rather forget. But this graphic novel makes you face the ugliness without kid gloves. I had to take breaks while reading because human beings being systematically oppressed, beaten, abused and mentally degraded brought to mind far too many examples of how minorities in America are being treated today. We have come a long way since slavery but the dregs and institutions that created it, persist in oppressing Black Americans through mass incarceration and police brutality.
 "Slavery was a long slow process of dulling."
I was uncomfortable reading it, but happy there are no sappy story lines or helpful white saviors. Everyone in this novel has a role to play in racism. Even Dana and her white husband realize the far lasting consequences slavery has on a person's humanity. Dana is forced to travel through time whenever her white ancestor Rufus puts himself in danger. She helps him because her very existence depends on his survival. While the premise seems fantastical, helping people in power who don't have your best interest in mind is how large segments of America live.
"In his grief, Rufus seemed almost to want death. But he was afraid of dying alone."
Throughout Dana's experience back in time with her Ancestors she shatters all of the myths we tell ourselves to make slavery more palatable. She has to face how much of slavery can not be rationalized and the brutality of everyone involved. . It is a detrimental practice to strip human beings of power and ask them to be grateful for the experience. This graphic novel is a great reminder that not talking about a reality doesn't change it, race relations will continue to suffer while people can with a straight face say they don't see color. I would recommend this to everyone because you have to understand the nature of racism to grapple with how to change it.



Octavia Estelle Butler was an American science fiction writer, one of the best-known among the few African-American women in the field. She won both Hugo and Nebula awards. In 1995, she became the first science fiction writer to receive the MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Grant.

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