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Once a Month Tuesdays, 7:00 pm EDT - 8:30 pm EDT February 25 to July 28, 2020
The Center for Fiction
This reading group will take place online via Zoom.
2/25, 4/21, 5/26, 6/23, 7/28
This reading group will visit (or revisit) the works of Octavia E. Butler, the first renowned black woman author in science fiction and fantasy, whose works ring more and more prophetic as we step into 2020. We will discuss Butler’s short fiction and some of her novels. The group will conclude on the day after Butler’s 73rd birthday, with a study of some of her nonfiction and her impact on the science fiction community and other authors.
Through our journey with this reading group, participants will have an opportunity to engage with the works of a wildly imaginative and strikingly original intellect. Butler first began writing science fiction and fantasy in the 1970s, when the genre was still dominated by the visions of mainstream white authors. How does a marginalized perspective envision aliens as well as a rapidly alienating world? What can we learn about dystopias from an author whose history has always been a dystopia, and will that make us better, wiser, more compassionate human beings? How can we read, write and talk about joy, hope and community at a time of despair? Whether you have read Butler’s works before or are arriving to them for the first time, these themes will be explored in our discussions.
Please read the collection Bloodchild and Other Stories before the first meeting.
In subsequent meetings we will read Kindred, Parable of the Sower, Parable of the Talents, Lilith’s Brood and Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia E. Butler. Minor changes in the reading list are possible, depending on the inclinations of the group.
Books are not included in the cost of the class. Participants receive a 15% discount at our bookstore.
Mimi Mondal writes science fiction and fantasy stories at various venues and a mostly political column called “Extraordinary Alien” in the Indian newspaper Hindustan Times. Her first nonfiction anthology Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia E. Butler, co-edited with Alexandra Pierce, received the Locus Award and was a Hugo Award finalist in 2018. Mimi is from Calcutta, India, holds three masters’ degrees from three continents, and is currently extremely interested in democracies.
About this series
Whether you’re looking to catch up on great novels or you’re interested in exploring a new writer or literary period, our reading groups offer high-level literary discussion led by experts in the field.
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