Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

The first science fiction written by a black woman, Kindred has become a cornerstone of black American literature. This book was written the year after I was born, and yet it read like it could have been a current bestseller. I am not a huge sci-fi fan but this book is a great way to tip your toe into the genre and also get some historical perspective.

It's a really important "what if" book about race. What if a modern black woman suddenly found herself transported 150+ years into the past, right into the center of the antebellum South? The book doesn't shy away from portraying the realities of that (nothing is sugar-coated, be prepared for some upsetting scenes). This book is addresses many current issues in a way I think a lot of people wouldn't normally take the time to think about - but need to.

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