Octavia Butler's Kindred: An evening book discussion

Join us for a special occasion of Books Sandwiched In: a guided discussion of Kindred by Octavia Butler, led by Dr. Michelle Commander on Tuesday, March 28, 6:30–8:00 in the East Tennessee History Center auditorium. A light meal will be provided.

Kindred follows Dana Franklin, a Black woman of 1970s California, who is transported back to the era of plantation slavery in the antebellum South. Dana struggles to understand and survive this violent, primitive place and endures the challenges of how to relate to the slaves and the free white plantation owners. Her modern way of thinking, dressing, and speaking put her at odds with those around her.

"What sets this novel apart from other neo-slave narratives is that Dana interacts with her ancestors and experiences the everyday life of slavery directly (including the community building, violence, and loss), but her foremost purpose when she is transplanted to the nineteenth century is to save the rambunctious Rufus Weylin, a young white boy whose family owns her enslaved forebears," Commander said.

 Dr. Michelle Commander is University of Tennessee Associate Professor of English and Africana Studies. She received her Ph.D. in American Studies and Ethnicity from the University of Southern California. Commander spent the 2012–2013 school year as a Fulbright Lecturer/Researcher in Accra, Ghana, where she taught at the University of Ghana and completed follow-up ethnographic research for her book manuscript, Afro-Atlantic Flight: Speculative Returns and the Black Fantastic.

Copies of Kindred are available at the library and additional copies will be added to the collection soon. This program is a part of Books Sandwiched In's focus on diversity and is presented in partnership with the University of Tennessee College of Arts and Sciences. Books Sandwiched In is sponsored by the Friends of Knox County Public Library.