In 1995, Octavia Butler was the first science-fiction writer to receive a MacArthur Fellowship, known colloquially as the “Genius Grant.” Despite that, she was critically overlooked during her lifetime, both because of her genre and because she was a Black woman. Butler’s reputation has grown since her unexpected death in 2006, and her influence as an Afrofuturist is wide ranging. The critic Hilton Als has observed that she is the “dominant artistic force” in Beyonce’s video album Lemonade, and in 2016 an exhibition brought together short films made by contemporary artists who were inspired by Butler’s novels. To honor her life and work, this live event, led by the playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, examines her literary legacy through a discussion between authors N. K. Jemisin and Walter Mosley, to name a few. —C.J.F.
Symphony Space 2537 Broadway, New York, NY 10025 Get Directions »