Our second #CannonBookClub of 2018 on June 8 and 9 is Kindred by Octavia Butler as our first of two Anniversary Reads. Kindred is an historically highly rated and reviewed book for Cannonballers: in the ten years of Cannonball Read we’ve had eleven reviews of Kindred with a Cannonballer average rating of 4.64, which is only 0.16 away from our highest rated book of all-time.
It’s time to get thinking about what we’re going to talk about, and this book has any number of avenues we could pursue. If there is something you are hoping to talk about, go ahead and leave it for me in the comments, and we’ll add it to the list either here or over on Facebook Cannonball Read Book Chat group.
As a refresher (or a final inducement to pick up this book and join us), Kindred is the story of Dana, an African-American woman, who is suddenly and inexplicably wrenched through time into antebellum Maryland. After saving a drowning white boy there, she finds herself staring into the barrel of a shotgun and is transported back to the present just in time to save her life. During numerous such time-defying episodes she realizes the challenge she’s been given.
Some of the topics we’ll be talking about are:
- Just what genre is this book? Does it need to be in one genre anyway?
- Why has this book never been adapted into a movie? The fantastic folks at The Dissolve were arguing for it five years ago. What are some of the issues you see preventing an adaptation?
- Butler is an evocative writer of feelings. What ones drew you out, spoke to you, made you sink more (or pull you out of) the narrative?
- Present day for the book is over 40 years ago now, and the book will celebrate its 40th anniversary of publication next summer. How would this book be different if it were written and published now?
- Dana’s actions are possibly her most powerful tool of communication. What do they tell us on the whole?
- A common thread in time-travel assumes that one should not tamper with the past; for fear that it will disrupt the present. Butler’s characters obviously ignore this theory, how does this convolute the idea of “cause and effect” in the novel?
Remember, as you read Kindred, we’d love to see which cover your edition has, or even a picture of you reading your copy! Tag your photos with #CannonBookClub on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook, and show us.