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Last week we had our monthly reading group at the gallery. This time instead of having a lengthy read, we did a “close read” of Octavia Butler’s short story “Bloodchild”. This was my first time reading Octavia Butler and I’m not typically one to read Sci-Fi. This story, however, as one of the discussion groups pointed out, is more of an allegory. Sure one of the characters is an alien serpentine creature trying to mate with a human boy, but we were able to look past all that and pick apart the various power structures within the short text. It was a really fabulous discussion, being able to extract so much from a short story.

An interesting thing that came up, which is why I felt keen to share it here, is that several people, myself included, read common threads to this and The Handmaid’s Tale. All involved were trapped in this cyclical parasitic co-dependent enclosed existence. While, some characters had more power than others, none of them were free.

If anyone is interested in this quick (but fruitful read) let me know. I might be able to share a PDF or there might be one available online.

Sidebar: I am slowly making my way through “Little Women”.


Sexuality: Documents of Contemporary Art, Edited By Amelia Jones: 170 pages read

A Working Theory of Love, By Scott Hutchins: 325 pages

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, By Neil deGrasse Tyson: 3h, 41m equal to 244 pages (according to Amazon)

Trans*, By Jack Halberstam: 3 chapters, 80 pages

The Handmaid’s Tale, By Margaret Atwood: 309 pages

Bloodchild, By Octavia Butler: 21 pages

Little Women, By Louisa May Alcott: 44 pages so far

Running Tally of Pages: 1,193

1 comments on “Bloodchild”

  1. Count me as interested in a pdf, Daniela. Isn’t it great when unexpected connections like this one between “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Bloodchild” occur? I swear that this happens more and more frequently as the years progress. I guess it’s all that stuff in the cranial file cabinets accumulating.

    It’s so invigorating to participate in a fabulous discussion.


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