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Parable of the Sower (Paperback)
By 2024, through a combination of economic collapse, climate change, rampant drug addiction, and systemic corruption, the U.S. has devolved into a violent, feudal society. Against this grim backdrop, we're introduced to Lauren, a black teen with two secrets: She suffers from a genetic affliction called "hyperempathy", and she has lost faith in the Christian God of her father. To preserve her sense of purpose, Lauren chooses to redefine God. We know Lauren's days in her walled community are numbered, yet Butler surprises by imbuing Lauren with emotional depth, intelligence, and agency without making her superhuman. Though it may be perceived as too dark, this novel is at its core optimistic. One of Butler's finest works, it was nominated for the 1995 Nebula Award for Best Novel.— From Kiyo
This highly acclaimed post-apocalyptic novel of hope and terror from award-winning author Octavia E. Butler "pairs well with 1984 or The Handmaid's Tale" (John Green, New York Times)--now with a new foreword by N. K. Jemisin.
When global climate change and economic crises lead to social chaos in the early 2020s, California becomes full of dangers, from pervasive water shortage to masses of vagabonds who will do anything to live to see another day. Fifteen-year-old Lauren Olamina lives inside a gated community with her preacher father, family, and neighbors, sheltered from the surrounding anarchy. In a society where any vulnerability is a risk, she suffers from hyperempathy, a debilitating sensitivity to others' emotions.
Precocious and clear-eyed, Lauren must make her voice heard in order to protect her loved ones from the imminent disasters her small community stubbornly ignores. But what begins as a fight for survival soon leads to something much more: the birth of a new faith . . . and a startling vision of human destiny.
About the Author
OCTAVIA E. BUTLER was a renowned African-American writer who received a MacArthur "Genius" Grant and PEN West Lifetime Achievement Award for her body of work. She was the author of several award-winning novels including Parable of the Talents, which won the Nebula for Best Novel. Acclaimed for her lean prose, strong protagonists, and social observations in stories that range from the distant past to the far future, sales of her books have increased enormously since her death as the issues she addressed in her Afrofuturistic, feminist novels and short fiction have only become more relevant. She passed away on February 24, 2006.
"A brilliant, endlessly rich dystopian novel that pairs well with 1984 or The Handmaid's Tale, and it's also a fascinating exploration of how crises can fuel new religious and ideological movements."—John Green, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Turtles All the Way Down, New York Times
"In the ongoing contest over which dystopian classic is most applicable to our time, Octavia Butler's 'Parable' books may be unmatched."—New Yorker
"A gripping tale of survival and a poignant account of growing up sane in a disintegrating world."—New York Times Book Review
"One of the most important and groundbreaking science-fiction authors."—Entertainment Weekly
"The science-fiction classic, rereleased
with a new foreword by N.K. Jemisin, may resonate even more with readers today
than when it was originally published in 1993."—Wall Street Journal
"A powerful story of hope and faith."—Denver Post
"There isn't a page in this vivid and frightening story that fails to grip the reader."—San Jose Mercury News
conceived and elegantly written . . . Butler's success in making Lauren's
subsequent odyssey feel real is only the most obvious measure of this fine
novel's worth."—Cleveland Plain Dealer
real gut-wrencher . . . What makes Butler's fiction compelling is that it is as
crisply detailed as journalism. . . Often the smallest details are the most
"A prophetic odyssey."—Essence
"Butler tells her story with unusual warmth,
sensitivity, honesty, and grace; though science fiction readers will recognize
this future Earth, Lauren Olamina and her vision make this novel stand out like
a tree among saplings."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
of science fiction's most important figures, an author who wrote cracking,
crackling, accessible and fast-moving adventure stories shot through with
trenchant and smart allegories about race, gender and power . . . Parable of the Sower has never been more
of Butler's most visceral, accomplished works . . . this is the stuff of the best dystopian science fiction: a
real-life warning made fictional. Even in 1993, Butler understood
climate change could well be the spark that ignites the dry kindling of race,
class, and religious strife into a conflagration that will consume our nation. If
anything, those issues are even more pressing a quarter-century later . .
. Butler's vision of hard-won hope in challenging times is more essential now
than ever before, and well worth seeking out in this new edition."—B&N Blog