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Octavia E. Butler’s Pasadena

12 January 2022 | Fine Books & Collections

Debuting later this week at the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens [in Pasadena, California] is an exhibition called Mapping Fiction that highlights the way in which mapped spaces have played a role in fiction, e.g., Joyce’s Dublin, Tolkien’s Middle-earth, and Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous island.

Octavia E. Butler’s hand-drawn maps from notes for Parable of the Talents (1998) and her unpublished novel Parable of the Trickster” are also among the highlights of the seventy-item exhibition that examines the ways authors and mapmakers have built compelling fictional worlds.” …


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© Octavia E. Butler. Reprinted by permission of the Octavia E. Butler Estate with Writers House, LLC acting as agent for the Estate. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

Octavia E. Butler, Map of Acorn from notes for Parable of the Talents, ca. 1994. (Detail) Manuscript on binder paper, 8 12 x 11 in.

Debuting later this week at the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens is an exhibition called Mapping Fiction that highlights the way in which mapped spaces have played a role in fiction, e.g., Joyce’s Dublin, Tolkien’s Middle-Earth, and Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous island.

Octavia E. Butler’s hand-drawn maps from notes for Parable of the Talents (1998) and her unpublished novel Parable of the Trickster” are also among the highlights of the seventy-item exhibition that examines the ways authors and mapmakers have built compelling fictional worlds.”

But Butler’s real connection to the actual city of Pasadena is also part of the conversation. The library’s exhibition-related programming encourages literary tourists to get to know Butler’s hometown. In the March 8 lecture Literary Tourism in Los Angeles,” author Katie Orphan, author of Read Me Los Angeles: Exploring L.A.‘s Book Culture, will surely touch upon Butler’s personal geography. In Revisiting Octavia E. Butler’s Pasadena,” local educator and founder of the Octavia E. Butler Legacy Network Ayana Jamieson will lead a moderated conversation on two Saturdays this spring at the Pasadena Public Library.

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