Description: Bestselling novel by American science-fiction author Octavia E. Butler. Part time-travel tale and part slave narrative, it was first published in 1979 and is still widely popular; it is regularly chosen as a text for community-wide reading programs and book organizations, as well as being a common choice for high school and college courses. The book is the first-person account of a young African-American woman writer, Dana, who finds herself shuttled between her California home in 1976 and a pre-Civil War Maryland plantation. There she meets her ancestors: a spoiled, self-destructive white slave owner and the proud black freewoman he has forced into slavery and concubinage. As her stays in the past become longer, Dana becomes intimately entangled with the plantation community, making hard compromises to survive slavery and to ensure her existence in her own time. Dana, an African American woman, is inexplicably transported from 1976 Los Angeles to early 19th century Maryland. She meets her ancestors: Rufus, a white slave holder, and Alice, an African-American woman who was born free but forced into slavery later in life.