"I lost an arm on my last trip home. My left arm."
Written by Octavia Butler, award-winning author of the Parables and Exogenesis series, Kindred has a cracking opening line that taunts the reader to continue to find out what the heck is going on. It's the story of Dana, an African-American writer living in Los Angeles in 1976 who finds herself involuntarily transported, apparently at random, to a plantation in pre-civil war Maryland. There she meets a young white boy named Rufus, the son of the plantation owner, who she learns is one of her ancestors. Trapped in the past for an indefinite length of time each trip, Dana tries to be a good influence on Rufus as he grows, while struggling to survive herself in a time and place that is very dangerous to black women.
Kindred is a modern classic, which depicts the brutality of slavery in stark contrast to romanticised stories like Gone with the Wind. It is a fascinating and confronting book that remains as relevant today as when it was written.