Perhaps my devotion to Octavia Butler’s body of work as a radical, love-filled presentation of the queerness of black women and as a framework for social change won’t allow me to be satisfied with three paragraphs that ostensibly reduce Butler’s work to a shallow comparison to the tenuous relationship between Alice and Rebecca Walker. As much as I appreciate your attempt to offer readers a glimpse of the brilliance of Octavia Butler, I have say, respectfully, that this “review” is short-sighted, and it falls flat.
To offer a “review” on a feminist Web site of Octavia Butler’s work without discussing, in depth, her contribution to feminism in general and black feminism specifically is to do the legacy of Octavia Butler a tremendous disservice. To write about Butler without discussing how she, a black woman science fiction writer, challenges (even today) our notions of race, class, gender, sexuality, and even humanity, can be read as an attempt to dismiss her relevance and erase her story.
In your review, you do not discuss why Parable of the Talents is such a game/genre-changer in terms of the ways in which we are taught to view black women’s voices and agency in both fact and fiction; consequently, you neither discuss the importance of the protagonist’s race/gender, and any reluctance to do so is to perform and present an incomplete reading of the text…..
E.Z. goes on to break down what could have happened. Then my timeline hit its dougie as Summer M. held court on Parable of the Sower, Parable of the Talents and Lauren Olamina as a very complicated black girl/woman. Check Tumblr (and their timelines) for the breakdown.
Read both reviews. Chime in there, chime in here.
How can black feminist fan gyrls protect, praise and publicize our foundational fictions?
Why do we (still!) have the responsibility of teaching mainstream feminism about the woc canon?
Why ask why?
I refuse to be angry. Because this #sablefangyrl made delicious conversation all over the interwebs. This community gives me life. Many thanks to those who chimed in over the course of the day. Nom Nom Nom #brainfood…..