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smigliori's picture

Kindred: A Feminist Text?

I'm posting my comments as a reply to ndegeorge's, largely because they follow the same basic theme. I went into the novel expecting a feminist text which I didn't find. Of course, I find it extremely possible to do a feminist reading of the text, but what text can't have a feminist reading of it?

Though I generally think of myself as somewhat of a sci-fi fan, I'd never read any of Butler's works before, possibly because, if her works can be judged by this one, they are too closely comparable to what could be termed "historical fiction" for my tastes. When I think of feminist science-fiction, I consider texts more along the lines of Anne McCaffrey's Pern series (although I'm sure someone would question my placing of that, and it might be there at least partly because of my strong connection between the freedom of gender expression and the freedom of non-heteronormative sexualities.)

Overall, I found myself largely unsatisified with the text, and, if I were to construct a feminist canon (which, as a proliferation of canons makes me nervous because of the seeming counterproductiveness, in a way similar to my consideration of a lack of usefulness for a proliferation of gender categories, I am loath to do) I don't think this book would make the cut.


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