MacArthur Foundation "genius grant" Octavia Butler will read from her new fiction on Thursday, April 23, at 8 p.m., in the Fillius Events Barn, Beinecke Student Activities Village. The reading is free and open to the public.
Butler is the author of numerous novels and traces her love of writing back to the age of ten. She recalls writing her first science fiction story at age 12 when, after watching a rather poor science fiction movie, she decided that she could write a better story. She turned off the television and proceeded to write the story that would be the basis of her first published novel, Patternmaster (1977).
Butler's other works include: Mind of My Mind, Survivor, Kindred, Wild Seed, Clay's Ark, Dawn, Adulthood Rites, Imago and Parable of the Sower, which was nominated for a Nebula Award.
Her last book, Bloodchild and Other Stories, is a collection of five short stories and two essays about writing. The title story was awarded science fiction's top awards: the Hugo and the Nebula. Another story in the book also won the Hugo.
In June 1995, the MacArthur Foundation awarded Butler a "genius grant" in recognition of her prestigious writing career.
The only African-American woman science fiction writer whose work is self-supporting, Butler's supporters include faithful fans of science fiction, as well as others for whom Butler is the first and only exposure to science fiction. Nevertheless, Butler welcomes everyone into her audience noting that she is not necessarily a science fiction author but rather "a chronicler of the human heart using science fiction as a tool of revelation."