Octavia E. Butler

Born in California in 1947, Octavia E Butler grew up in the racially integrated community of Pasadena. An avid reader and writer from an early age, she studied at the Pasadena City College and graduated in 1968 with an associate arts degree with a focus on history. She attended creative writing workshops whilst working as a secretary and published her debut novel Patternmaster in 1976. It opened Butler’s Patternist series, which gained her wide critical acclaim and an avid readership and enabled her to focus on writing full-time.

Butler has published fifteen novels and two short fiction collections. Her speculative fiction addresses many themes that carry a prescient connection to our age – including issues of race, sex, social disconnection, climate catastrophe, xenophobia and the rise of religious fundamentalism. Her 1979 novel Kindred – a mesmerising time-travel narrative of race, freedom, power and responsibility – has become a cult classic.

Butler died of a stroke in February 2006 at the age of 58. Her work has won and been nominated for various awards, including the Hugo Award and the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and continues to enjoy enduring popularity.

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