First published in 1979, Octavia E. Butler‘s Kindred remains a touchstone of speculative fiction. For Ploughshares, Kat Solomon takes a closer look at how Butler uses time travel to reckon with the main character’s family history of slavery in the antebellum South. “Like much great speculative fiction,” Solomon writes, “the fantastic in Kindred functions as both an opportunity for the unfolding of an unusual story while also serving as a kind of foundational metaphor, in this case for the ways that the history of slavery continues to assert itself in the present.”
You might have heard that a new Shirley Jackson book appeared on shelves this week. A collection of previously unpublished work, Let Me Tell You was published by Penguin Random House, which happens to be the place where Benjamin Dreyer, a lifelong Shirley Jackson fan, works as a copy chief and managing editor. At The Toast, he describes how it felt to edit his favorite writer.
Recommended (and timely!) reading: Christy Wampole on why “You Will Never Be Able to Thank Your Mother Enough.”
Edvard Munch’s The Scream recently garnered a record breaking $119.9 million at Sotheby’s in New York. Despite the “tasty narrative potential” of the iconic artwork, the Pulitizer Prize winning art critic Holland Cotter thinks that the painting’s new owner spent their vast sum of money unwisely.