Posts Tagged ‘Parable of the Talents’
A sporadically updated list of materials I’ve either written or used or enjoyed on the Octavia E. Butler Archives at the Huntington Library, hopefully useful for other researchers:
* Octavia E. Butler Collection Finding Aid (500+ pages!);
* my general guide: “The Octavia E. Butler Papers.” (Eaton Journal of Science Fiction);
* Tracing Octavia Butler’s Footsteps: An Interview with Dr. Ayana A. H. Jamieson (a tremendous read!);
* Inside The Octavia Butler Archives With L.A. Writer Lynell George; Butler’s notes from writing Kindred; Celebrating Octavia Butler at the Huntington; So Be It! See To It!; #VisitOctaviaButler tag on the Huntington’s Tumblr; “Archives” category at the OEB Legacy Network; Radio Imagination;
* me on Parable of the Trickster: “’There’s Nothing New / Under The Sun, / But There Are New Suns’: Recovering Octavia E. Butler’s Lost Parables.” (LARB);
* me (briefly) on the Fledgling sequel(s): Archives Reveal What Octavia Butler’s Next Books Would Have Been Like. (io9);
* me on Reagan in Dawn, Talents, and Paraclete: “Making America Great Again with Octavia Butler.” (University of Illinois Press blog);
* and of course the whole kit ‘n’ caboodle: Octavia E. Butler (Modern Masters of Science Fiction, University of Illinois Press).
Short Excerpt from My Book Up at University of Illinois Press: “Making America Great Again with Octavia Butler”
I never got around to making a long link post this weekend, so just in case you missed it I wanted to flag that a short excerpt from my book (reskinned around the recent election) is up now at the University of Illinois Press blog: “Making America Great Again with Octavia Butler.” While the frame of this version of the material is now about Trump, the real meat of this thing is about Reagan, and about Butler’s special contempt for him not just during his presidency but across the remainder of her life.
I also talk a bit about what is probably my favorite of her unfinished novels, Paracelete. Check it out!
And don’t forget to buy the whole book, which is available now!
Last December I had the improbable privilege to be the very first scholar to open the boxes at the Huntington that contain what Butler had written of Trickster before her death.What I found were dozens upon dozens of false starts for the novel, some petering out after twenty or thirty pages, others after just two or three; this cycle of narrative failure is recorded over hundreds of pages of discarded drafts. Frustrated by writer’s block, frustrated by blood pressure medication that she felt inhibited her creativity and vitality, and frustrated by the sense that she had no story for Trickster, only a “situation,” Butler started and stopped the novel over and over again from 1989 until her death, never getting far from the beginning…
The second part of my Octavia Butler piece is up at Los Angeles Review of Books, all about Parable of the Trickster!
For people who’ll be in the area, this Friday at 2:30 PM I’m presenting in the SFRA academic track at WisCon in Madison, giving a short talk titled “‘There’s Nothing New / Under The Sun, / But There Are New Suns’: Recovering Octavia E. Butler’s Lost Parables.” The talk comes out of the research I did last December in the Butler archive at the Huntington Library, which I’ll be following up with a second trip this coming November. I mostly talk about the many, many versions of Parable of the Trickster in this one, though I also talk a bit about God of Clay, the failed Parables book Butler started before Sower featuring a much more sinister Olamina as a middle-aged power broker (who actually orders the assassination of a local politician who crosses her). It’s great stuff! The only reason I’m not saying more here is that I have a piece on the subject circulating that I’m trying to place in a mainstream outlet, which I hope will happen soon.
If you’re at SFRA/WisCon, hope to see you!