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.
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
"Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower is a stunner. It's a terrifying vision of a dismal future brought on by the willful ignorance, racism and greed of human beings, and an eerily dangerous parallel to our present path. Ms. Butler gives us a satisfying protagonist in the hypersensitive teenager Lauren, whose courage and wits are an infinite source of inspiration."—Flea, Wall Street Journal
"Butler felt to me like a
lighthouse blinking from an island of understanding way out at sea. I had no
idea how to get there, but I knew she had found something life-saving. She had
found a form of resistance. Butler and other writers like Ursula Le
Guin, Toni Morrison and Margaret Atwood...used the tenets of genre to reveal the injustices of the present and imagine
our evolution."—Brit Marling, 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
"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
"Butler [had a] practically psychic ability to predict the future."—New York Magazine, "The Best Books for Budding Black Feminists, According to Experts"