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‘Kindred’ Will Be the Wood River Valley’s Winter Read
Wednesday, December 30, 2020


Imagine being shunted in time between your Los Angeles, Calif., home in 1976—and a pre-Civil War Maryland plantation where you meet your ancestors—a proud black free woman and a white planter who has forced her into slavery.

That’s the premise of Octavia E. Butler’s novel “Kindred.” And The Community Library is inviting you and the rest of the community to read the book as part of the 2021 Winter Read—a Winter Read that offers conversations around systemic racism, science fiction and Afrofuturism.

The book, published in 1979, has frequently been chosen for community-wide reading programs, as well as high school and college courses. The library’s program director Martha Williams says The Community Library chose it this year in part due to the conversation that the Black Lives Matter movement started nationwide.

“Kindred” explores the many facets of antebellum slavery from the perspective of a young black woman who has seen slavery’s legacy in 20th century America. It also addresses issues revolving around power, gender and racism.

It incorporates multiple time travel incidents and it incorporates historical narratives.

Copies of the book and its graphic novel adaptation are available for checkout throughout the valley at The Community Library and libraries in Hailey, Bellevue and Stanley. Spanish translations are available, along with English translations. Events and exhibits will kick off Jan. 25 and run through March 12.

Events will include virtual conversations, a book group, discussions over Zoom and film screenings.

The virtual programs will be complemented by two Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service poster exhibits at the library.

And the Winter Book Group will focus on three books that address the legacy of slavery from 4 to 5 pm. Thursdays, Jan. 21 through Feb. 18 via Zoom. (Contact Jenny Emery Davidson at to receive the Zoom link).

Last year’s Winter Read revolved around Jamie Ford’s “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” and included presentations on the Japanese-American internment camp at Minidoka, displays featuring family mementos of those in the Wood River Valley with Japanese ancestry and a Smithsonian exhibition at the Regional History Museum.



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