Tuesday, July 21, 2020
July 21, 2020: Historical Fictions: Kindred
[Earlier this month, I began teaching my graduate American Historical Fiction: Practice and Theory class for the fifth time, this time entirely online. So this week I’ll briefly highlight (busy with teaching and all) a handful of exemplary historical fictions and related contexts. Share your own favorite historical fictions or authors for a boundary-blurring crowd-sourced weekend post, please!]
The premise of Butler’s science fiction historical novel is simple enough: a 1970s African American woman suddenly finds herself time traveling back into the antebellum South, where she becomes (or rather, is) a slave. But without spoiling the many amazing places where Butler takes her story from there, I’ll just say that she is centrally concerned with some of the most genuinely historical and American themes: family and legacies, race and its continuous yet shifting presence and meanings, love and hope and hatred and death, community and identity in our past, present, and (it is science fiction after all!) future. One of our most unique, significant, and compelling American novels, historical or otherwise.
Next historical fiction tomorrow,
PS. What do you think? Other historical fictions or authors you’d highlight?