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“But if everyone could feel everyone else’s pain, who would torture? Who would cause anyone unnecessary pain?”  ― Octavia E. Butler

Reading is an act of self discovery and celebration, empathy and imagination.  What better way to observe the National Day of Racial Healing than to read a book by a new author?  Take a spin through some of the new titles by authors of various cultural or racial backgrounds that are available or forthcoming at FPPL.

If you’ve a yen to read and discuss an important work by a Black author in community with others, the FPPL Reading Awake Book Group has selected Octavia Butler’s classic speculative fiction novel, Kindred, as our February read in honor of Black History Month.  Everyone is invited.

The NYTimes suggests Kindred as the place to start with Octavia Butler’s shelf of essential masterworks.

Butler takes time travel, one of speculative fiction’s oldest and most overdone premises, and infuses it with lasting depth and power. Where stories about American slavery are often gratuitous, reducing its horror to explicit violence and brutality, “Kindred” is controlled and precise.  Butler stages slavery as a site of pain and violation as well as community and resilience. Dana, the protagonist, slips back and forth against her will between her life in 1976 Los Angeles and a Maryland plantation before the Civil War. In Butler’s hands, the slaves and slave owners Dana meets — and befriends, nurtures, protects and betrays — become individuals rather than historical abstractions. The book is a marvel of imagination, empathy and detail, speculative fiction at its best.

Register with FPPL or contact Skye Lavin ( for the link to the Zoom meeting on Wednesday February 24th at 7pm.  We’ll have plenty of copies of Kindred on hand to check out later this week.

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