Kindred | Page 1 of 206

Author: Octavia E. Butler | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 109090 Views | Add a Review

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To Victoria Rose,

friend and goad











Critical Essay

Discussion Questions


I lost an arm on my last trip home. My left arm.

And I lost about a year of my life and much of the comfort and security I had not valued until it was gone. When the police released Kevin, he came to the hospital and stayed with me so that I would know I hadn’t lost him too.

But before he could come to me, I had to convince the police that he did not belong in jail. That took time. The police were shadows who appeared intermittently at my bedside to ask me questions I had to struggle to understand.

“How did you hurt your arm?” they asked. “Who hurt you?” My attention was captured by the word they used: Hurt. As though I’d scratched my arm. Didn’t they think I knew it was gone?

“Accident,” I heard myself whisper. “It was an accident.”

They began asking me about Kevin. Their words seemed to blur together at first, and I paid little attention. After a while, though, I replayed them and suddenly realized that these men were trying to blame Kevin for “hurting”

my arm.

“No.” I shook my head weakly against the pillow. “Not Kevin. Is he here? Can I see him?”

“Who then?” they persisted.

I tried to think through the drugs, through the distant pain, but there was no honest explanation I could give them—none they would believe.

“An accident,” I repeated. “My fault, not Kevin’s. Please let me see him.”

I said this over and over until the vague police shapes let me alone, until I awoke to find Kevin sitting, dozing beside my bed. I wondered briefly how long he had been there, but it didn’t matter. The important thing was that he was there. I slept again, relieved.

Finally, I awoke feeling able to talk to him coherently and understand what he said. I was almost comfortable except for the strange throbbing of my arm. Of where my arm had been. I moved my head, tried to look at the empty place … the stump.

Then Kevin was standing over me, his hands on my face turning my head toward him.

He didn’t say anything. After a moment, he sat down again, took my hand, and held it.

I felt as though I could have lifted my other hand and touched him. I felt as though I had another hand. I tried again to look, and this time he let me.

Somehow, I had to see to be able to accept what I knew was so.

After a moment, I lay back against the pillow and closed my eyes.

“Above the elbow,” I said.

“They had to.”

“I know. I’m just trying to get used to it.” I opened my eyes and looked at him. Then I remembered my earlier visitors. “Have I gotten you into trouble?”


“The police were here. They thou

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Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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