Myth As Resistance: the Epic of Lilith's Brood— Octavia Butler's Xenogenesis Trilogy

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Alabama Libraries

The rise of Octavia Butler's Kindred and Parable of the Sower as multimedia narrative sensations, being adapted into television and film, signals how Butler's narratives bring revolutionary world building and Afrofuturist meaning making to twenty-first century media. Furthermore, the attention on Butler's more popular and canonized texts signals an urgency to re-examine Butler's Xenogenesis Trilogy, a work that highlights her unique narrative style and, arguably, places her storytelling in a realm of narrative epics. Historically, epic narratives have been the province of white, masculine world making, many of which lend themselves to a tradition of cultural myth building which functions to instill a singular, exclusionary world view. Lilith's Brood offers perspectives of post-human/alien world building that brings into focus marginalized identities and challenges processes of ideological myth making. As an early work of Afrofuturism, this narrative exists in a unique space of literary resistance, as Butler engages Black feminist storytelling and Afrofuturist world making. Indeed, this text provides a site for untangling the intersections race, gender and colonization through placing this narrative in a post-human/post-nuclear apocalyptic future.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Afrofuturism, literary resistance, Myth, Octavia Butler