#375: HNY! This month, let’s read and discuss “The Spectacular Life of Octavia E. Butler”
Join us on Sunday, January 29 to discuss E. Alex Jung’s outstanding profile
Happy New Year, Loyal Readers! 🎉
I’m wishing you a warm, dry, and peaceful day as I write this from cold, wet, and stormy California. To those of you in the Bay Area, I’m hoping you’re staying safe, and to the loyal readers across the country, my apologies for the weather you might be experiencing soon. ☔️ 🌨 ☃
Let’s kick off the eighth year of The Highlighter with January’s Article of the month, “The Spectacular Life of Octavia Butler,” by E. Alex Jung. Even if you’re not a fan of Ms. Butler (which you should be!), you’ll appreciate this well-written profile.
Octavia E. Butler wanted to be a famous writer. So she manifested it into existence. “I shall be a bestselling writer,” she wrote in her journal. “This is my life. I write bestselling novels. My novels each travel up to the top of the bestseller lists and they reach the top and they stay on top. So be it! See to it!” In this beautifully written profile, the result of extensive research at The Huntington Library, E. Alex Jung reveals enchanting details of Ms. Butler’s extraordinary life. “I never bought into my invisibility or non-existence as a Black person,” she wrote in her journal. “As a female and as an African-American, I wrote myself into the world. I wrote myself into the present, the future, and the past.” (33 min)
For Butler, writing was a way to manifest a person powerful enough to overcome the circumstances of her birth and what she saw as her own personal failings. Her characters were brazen when she felt timid, leaders when she felt she lacked charisma. They were blueprints for her own existence. “I can write about ideal me’s,” she wrote on the cusp of turning 29. “I can write about the women I wish I was or the women I sometimes feel like.”
This month, I warmly invite you to read, annotate, and discuss “The Spectacular Life of Octavia Butler” as part of Article Club.
If you’re interested, this how things will go:
This week, we’ll read the article
Next week, we’ll annotate the article as a group
The following week, we’ll listen to our interview with Mr. Jung
On Sunday, Jan. 29, 2:00 - 3:30 pm PT, we’ll discuss the article
If this will be your first time participating in Article Club, I’m 100% sure you’ll find that you’ll feel welcome. We’re a kind, thoughtful reading community. Feel free to reach out with all of your questions.
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