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Butler, Octavia

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionBooks & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Bo-Co)

(US, 1947– )

Butler uses science fiction to explore issues of race and cultural dominance. In Kindred (1979) a contemporary black woman is sent back in time to a pre-Civil War Southern plantation. Here she must save the owner's white son whenever he is in danger; because the white son is the woman's great-grandfather. In Butler's recent Xenogenesis trilogy (1987–9), an alien race, Oankali, wishes to absorb the human race into its own gene pool, by conquering and cross-breeding. The central figure, Lilith, has been bred with the Oankali, without her permission, but she chooses to keep the child, who becomes a key figure in the saving of the human race.

  Marge Piercy, Ursula Le Guin  LM

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