Octavia Butler: Genius Driven by Neurodiversity? is topic on March 29

by Contributed Content on March 26, 2023

“Wordweaver. Worldmaker. Storyteller. Bestseller. Yes! Wordweaver. Worldmaker. Storyteller. Bestseller. Now!” Octavia E. Butler, the first successful Black female science fiction writer, wrote this mantra to encourage herself and went on to earn all four of these titles.

She was eminently creative, the first science fiction writer ever to earn a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Fellowship. She wrote 15 books, including her best known Parable of the Sower and Kindred. Being Black and dyslexic in the 20th century presented many obstacles for Butler.

How did dyslexia influence Butler’s creativity? Did her experiences as a neurodivergent woman of color help her to persist and to identify patterns that have led many to call her work prophetic?

On Wednesday, March 29, at the Menlo Park Library (800 Alma St.) from 6:30 to 7:30 pm, presenter Callie Turk will delve into these topics to understand how Butler’s layered identity influenced her work. How we can support the development of unrecognized, overlooked, marginalized talent so that children grow their strengths, persist in their dreams and fulfill their greatness.

This free event received partial funding support from the Friends of the Menlo Park Library.


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