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Date:
June 22, 2021
Time:
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Location:
Webinar
Address:
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Email:
Cost:
Free
Author Octavia Butler signing a book
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The Genius of Octavia E. Butler

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Professor Adele Newson-Horst takes us on a journey into the life and works of science fiction author Octavia Estelle Butler.

Octavia Butler was the first science-fiction writer, and one of the first Black women, to receive a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship grant. The author of several award-winning novels, Butler was acclaimed for her lean prose, strong protagonists, and acute social observations in stories that range from the distant past to the near future. 

In recent years, sales of Butler’s books have increased enormously as the issues she addressed in her Afro-Futuristic, feminist novels and short fiction have only become more relevant.

Professor Adele Newson-Horst will take us on a journey into the life and works of science fiction author Octavia Estelle Butler. Together, we’ll investigate Butler’s use of language in achieving plausible realities through a study of her award-winning short story “Speech Sounds.”

Download "Speech Sounds"

About Octavia Butler
Octavia E. Butler was a renowned African American author who received a MacArthur “Genius” Grant and PEN West Lifetime Achievement Award for her body of work. Born in Pasadena in 1947, she was raised by her mother and her grandmother.  She was the author of several award-winning novels including PARABLE OF THE SOWER (1993), which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and PARABLE OF THE TALENTS (1995) winner of the Nebula Award for the best science fiction novel published that year. She was acclaimed for her lean prose, strong protagonists, and social observations in stories that range from the distant past to the far future.

Butler died on February 24, 2006. At the time of her death, interest in her books was beginning to rise, and in recent years, sales of her books have increased enormously as the issues she addressed in her Afro-Futuristic, feminist novels and short fiction have only become more relevant.

Her work is now taught in over 200 colleges and universities nationwide. The #1 New York Times bestselling graphic novel adaptation of her book KINDRED, created by Damian Duffy and John Jennings, received the Eisner Award for best adaptation.

About Adele Newson-Horst
Dr. Adele Newson-Horst is a professor of English at Morgan State University (MSU).  She is also the coordinator of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at MSU.  She earned the B.A. from Spelman College, the M.A. from Eastern Michigan University, and the Ph.D. from Michigan State University.  Her books and articles focus on the literature of African, African American, and Caribbean women writers.  She is also the vice-president of the Henrietta Lacks Legacy Group (HLLG). 

Dr. Newson-Horst regularly reviews books for World Literature Today and Academic Choice.  Among other publications, she has published two edited volume on Egyptian novelist and physician Nawal el Saadawi:  The Essential Nawal El Saadawi:  A Reader, London, Zed Publishers, 2010 and The Dramatic Literature of Nawal El Saadawi, London: Saqi, 2009.

This free event received partial funding support from the Friends of the Menlo Park Library.