Octavia Butler’s Archive

The papers of celebrated science fiction writer Octavia Butler (1947–2006) have been acquired by the Huntington Library and will be available to researchers in 2012.

Butler was described by the Washington Post as “a master storyteller who casts an unflinching eye on racism, sexism, poverty, and ignorance and lets the reader see the terror and the beauty of human nature.” She grew up in Pasadena, and published her first story in 1971. Her novel Kindred (1979) is a dark fantasy set in the Antebellum south, in which a modern-day woman is transported back into the body of a slave, and became her most celebrated book. In 1995 she became the first Science Fiction writer to receive MacArthur “Genius” grant. “Butler’s books are exceptional,” writes author Dorothy Allison. “She is a realist, writing the most detailed social criticism and creating some of the most fascinating female characters in the genre…real women caught in impossible situations.”