In this episode, we’ll discuss the life and work of Octavia E. Butler. Butler was an acclaimed American writer who defied genre, though she is most often associated with the realm of science fiction. The recipient of multiple Hugo and Nebula Awards, she is the author of such classics as Kindred, Parable of the Sower, Fledgling and so many more. Butler received a MacArthur Genius Grant and PEN West Lifetime Achievement Award for her impressive body of work. Her writing is well known, as her official website states, for quote “her lean prose, strong protagonists, and social observations in stories that range from the distant past to the far future.”
Today we are joined by Nisi Shawl and Megan Finch.
A friend of Octavia’s during her Seattle years, author Nisi Shawl is a founder of the diversity-in-speculative-fiction nonprofit The Carl Brandon Society. Honors received include the Locus, World Fantasy, Otherwise, and Kate Wilhelm Solstice awards.
Megan Finch is an Assistant Professor in the English Department at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She is currently working on her book project titled Perverse Relations: Madness, Idiocy, and Black Social Life. She is also on the curating team of the American Writers Museum’s forthcoming exhibit, Dark Testament: A Century of Black Writers on Justice, opening September 2022.
Nisi and Megan are interviewed by Nate King, Digital Content Associate at the American Writers Museum.