Octavia E. Butler

Octavia E. Butler

4.43 (69 ratings by Goodreads)
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"I began writing about power because I had so little," Octavia E. Butler once said. Butler's life as an African American woman--an alien in American society and among science fiction writers--informed the powerful works that earned her an ardent readership and acclaim both inside and outside science fiction.

Gerry Canavan offers a critical and holistic consideration of Butler's career. Drawing on Butler's personal papers, Canavan tracks the false starts, abandoned drafts, tireless rewrites, and real-life obstacles that fed Butler's frustrations and launched her triumphs. Canavan departs from other studies to approach Butler first and foremost as a science fiction writer working within, responding to, and reacting against the genre's particular canon. The result is an illuminating study of how an essential SF figure shaped themes, unconventional ideas, and an unflagging creative urge into brilliant works of fiction.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 248 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 20mm | 521.63g
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 3 black and white photographs
  • 025204066X
  • 9780252040665

Table of contents

Title pageContentsList of IllustrationsAcknowledgmentsChronologyIntroduction: Beginning at the EndChapter 1. Childfinder (1947-1970)Chapter 2. Psychogenesis (1970-1976)Chapter 3. To Keep Thee in All Thy Ways (1976-1980)Chapter 4. Blindsight (1980-1987)Chapter 5. The Training Floor (1987-1989)Chapter 6. God of Clay (1989-2006)Chapter 7. Paraclete (1999-2006)Conclusion: Unexpected StoriesAppendix: "Lost Races of Science Fiction" by Octavia E. Butler (1980)Octavia E. Butler BibliographyNotesBibliography of Secondary SourcesIndex
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Review quote

"Canavan is an excellent critic and formidable researcher, and this book, written in accessible, quick-moving prose, is rich with perspectives and ideas. The best sections detail the stories Butler didn't publish or complete, using those fragments to dive deeper into the texts that she finished. Like all good criticism, the book is both authoritative and invitational. Read it and you'll marvel at the arguments and feel invited to develop your own." --New York Times

"For those of us who cannot make the journey to the archive, Octavia E. Butler serves as a more-than-adequate substitute and entry into this treasure trove of Butler's writings."--Los Angeles Review of Books

"A must-read for scholars of [science fiction], Canavan's scholarship is both a work of sharply dedicated research and a loving tribute to one of [science fiction's] most creative geniuses. Highly recommended."--Library Journal
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About Gerry Canavan

Gerry Canavan is an assistant professor of twentieth- and twenty-first-century literature at Marquette University. He is a coeditor of The Cambridge Companion to American Science Fiction .
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Rating details

69 ratings
4.43 out of 5 stars
5 55% (38)
4 38% (26)
3 3% (2)
2 4% (3)
1 0% (0)
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