We don’t shelve Parable of the Sower in the Horror section here at Powell’s, but this book scares the holy crap out of me. Although it first appeared in 1993, this smoldering gem of a dystopia reads like it was written recently. You could say this was Octavia Butler’s masterpiece, and you wouldn’t be wrong. Recommended By Mary Jo S., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
This acclaimed post-apocalyptic novel of hope and terror from an award-winning author "pairs well with 1984
or The Handmaid's Tale
" and includes a foreword by N. K. Jemisin (John Green, New York Times
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.
"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
"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)
"A gripping tale of survival and a poignant account of growing up sane in a disintegrating world." New York Times Book Review
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.