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Kindred
2003
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
Dana (Female), African American, Married, Transported through time from 1970s California to the antebellum South to save the white son of a plantation owner from drowning; drawn back repeatedly through time to the salve quarters and each time the stay grows longer and more dangerous
Genre
Fiction
Historical
Science fiction
Graphic novel
Topics
African American women
Time travel
Plantation life
Antebellum culture
Slavery
Slaves
Race relations
Southern life
Family histories
Ancestors
Racism
Setting
California - West (U.S.)
Maryland - Mid-Atlantic States (U.S.)
Time Period
1976 -- 20th century
1815 -- 19th century
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

In Duffy (Black Comix) and Jennings's (Blue Hand Mojo) adaptation of Mac-Arthur -Fellow Butler's iconic 1979 novel, time-traveler Dana discovers affinity and ugliness among her ancestors. Unwillingly wrenched from 1976 to 1815, she attempts to blend into plantation life as the "slave" of her white husband, Kevin, also drawn into the past. There Dana meets the slaveholder's spoiled son who rapes his servant-concubine to produce the line leading to Dana herself. Butler has claimed that she sanitized life under slavery for the novel, but Dana witnesses and experiences miseries aplenty, including whippings and mutilation. Indeed, Dana and Kevin are both greatly changed by the forced culture shock. Duffy covers the fullness of Butler's plot, while picking up much of the character complexity. The blocky, impressionistic, awkward art from Jennings lacks subtlety but effectively conveys the dystopian nature of plantation society via jarring color, contrasted with more sedate two-toned images for modern life. VERDICT This slave narrative through the eyes of a modern woman will continue to grip readers as they come to understand that "kindred" means all Americans, who together share the ancestry of slavery personally and collectively. Adults and teens.-MC © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

Dana, an African-American woman in the 1970s, is thrust backward in time to a 19th-century Maryland plantation. Over many visits to the past, she realizes that the spoiled son of the plantation owner is her ancestor, destined to father children with a slave, and she must protect his life to ensure her own existence. Butler's celebrated 1979 novel, here adapted into a graphic novel, starts with a gripping idea and builds skillfully, as both Dana and her white husband in the present are warped by slavery and become complicit in its evil. This graphic novel recaps the classic source material faithfully without adding much to justify the adaptation, although it may find some new readers. The blocky artwork lacks the subtlety to evoke the complexity of the novel or the vividness of its historical settings (in addition to the antebellum South, the adaptation preserves the 1970s setting of the "present-day" sections). It's an effective recap, clearly produced with great love and respect, but the book remains the gold standard. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him. Dana is drawn back repeatedly through time to the slave quarters, and each time the stay grows longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana's life will end, long before it has a chance to begin.
Table of Contents
Prologuep. 9
The Riverp. 12
The Firep. 18
The Fallp. 52
The Fightp. 108
The Stormp. 189
The Ropep. 240
Epiloguep. 262
Reader's Guidep. 265
Critical Essayp. 265
Discussion Questionsp. 285
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