In 1976 Los Angeles, Dana dreams of success as a writer; transported to 1815 Maryland, she is assumed a slave. When she first encounters redheaded Rufus in the past, he is a boy, drowning. Dana saves his life but is beaten for her efforts, returning her to her own time—but she will be pulled back, again and again. Neither of them understands his power to summon her when his life is threatened, nor the ties that bind them. Yet each time Dana saves him, she is more aware that her own life may be over, more than a century before she was born. Though framed as science fiction, Octavia Butler's genre-defying classic powerfully evokes the experience of slavery, and its significance for all Americans.
"Octavia Butler creates a road for the impossible and a balm for the unbearable. It is everything the literature of science fiction can be."—Walter Mosley