- NAME: Octavia E. Butler
- OCCUPATION: Author
- BIRTH DATE: June 22, 1947
- DEATH DATE: February 24, 2006
- Did You Know?: Octavia E. Butler was dyslexic.
- Did You Know?: Octavia E. Butler became the first science-fiction writer to receive the MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant in 1995.
- EDUCATION: Pasadena City College, California State University, University of California at Los Angeles
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Pasadena, California
- PLACE OF DEATH: Seattle, Washington
- Full Name: Octavia Estelle Butler
- AKA: Octavia E. Butler
- AKA: Octavia Butler
Best Known For
Octavia Butler aimed to create a new kind of science fiction that allowed the reader to connect to the worlds she created in a human way.
Science fiction author Octavia Butler not only broke boundaries as an African American Women in literature, she also changed the way people viewed and wrote science fiction. Video courtesy of Open Road Media.
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To insure their mutual survival, humans reproduce with aliens known as the Oankali. Butler received much praise for this trilogy. She went on to write the Parable series, which includes the novels Parable of the Sower (1993) and Parable of the Talents (1999).
In 1995, Butler received a "genius" grant from the MacArthur Foundation—becoming the first science-fiction writer to do so—which allowed her to buy a house for her mother and herself.
In 1999, Butler abandoned her native California to move north to Seattle, Washington. She was a perfectionist with her work and spent several years grappling with writer's block. Her efforts were hampered by her ill health and the medications she took. After starting and discarding numerous projects, Butler wrote her last novel Fledgling (2005).
On February 24, 2006, Octavia E. Butler died at her Seattle home. She was 58 years old. With her death, the literary world lost one of its great storytellers. She is remembered, as Gregory Hampton wrote in Callaloo, as writer of "stories that blurred the lines of distinction between reality and fantasy." And through her work, "she revealed universal truths."
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They are the famous African-American writers who have fearlessly examined cultural stigmas, provided intimate life details, presented new ideas and created remarkable fiction through literary works. For their prophetic genius, these men and women have received Pulitzer Prizes, NAACP awards and even Nobel Prizes, among other honors. Our list of prominent African-American authors includes Toni Morrison, who has detailed the lives of black characters who struggle with identity amidst racism and hostility; Langston Hughes, a founder of the Harlem Renaissance; and Maya Angelou, who has eloquently chronicled various eras of her life through her autobiographies.
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Sci-Fi and Fantasy Writers 12 people in this group
Explore Biography.com's collection of pioneering African-American women with indelible legacies, including Charlotte E. Ray, Maya Angelou, Maritza Correia, Gwendolyn Brooks, Mary Mahoney, Oprah Winfrey, Octavia E. Butler and Shirley Chisholm. View full biographies, photos, videos and more, only at Biography.com.
African-American Firsts: Women 55 people in this group