Kindred – the graphic novel

I recently appeared on RTÉ Radio 1’s culture and arts show, Arena, in which I gave a brief overview of the graphic novel adaptation of Kindred, the award-winning novel by science fiction legend Octavia E. Butler. The graphic novel is adapted by Damian Duffy (writer) and John Jennings (artist), and published by Abrams ComicArts.

You can listen to the show as a podcast online, and my segment is at the end. It’s a pity I didn’t have more time as I could have talked for longer about this fine work.

Butler was a writer hero of mine when I was a teenager; her sf novels about the struggles with identity, race, hierarchy, and power gave me much to ponder, and remain an inspiration. I re-read the novel before I reviewed the adaptation, and Kindred remains a moving, gripping story about slavery and the complex legacy of race relations in the USA. It’s as resonant today as it was in 1979.

Duffy and Jennings do the novel justice, and give Butler’s characters a new visual life. It’s wonderful to see this seminal text as a graphic novel adaptation, and hopefully it will introduce this important writer to a new audience.

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