Parable of the Sower: A Novel (Hardcover)

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By Octavia E. Butler, Gloria Steinem (Introduction by)
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Staff Reviews

This book is not like any other piece of dystopian literature that I’ve ever read. It takes the threat of global warming to a whole new level in a society in California where forest fires run rampant and water is a luxury most people can’t afford. In this chaos, Lauren Olamina grows up in a gated community that people only leave to go to work or to hunt – they are always heavily armed. When the community goes up in flames, Lauren must fight for survival in an unforgiving world outside. What made this story stand out to me were the underlying themes of race, faith, love, and morality. I highly recommend!

— Abby Walker


Parable of the Sower is the Butlerian odyssey of one woman who is twice as feeling in a world that has become doubly dehumanized. The time is 2025. The place is California, where small walled communities must protect themselves from hordes of desperate scavengers and roaming bands of people addicted to a drug that activates an orgasmic desire to burn, rape, and murder. When one small community is overrun, Lauren Olamina, an 18 year old black woman with the hereditary train of "hyperempathy"—which causes her to feel others’ pain as her own—sets off on foot along the dangerous coastal highways, moving north into the unknown.

About the Author

A writer who darkly imagined the future we have destined for ourselves in book after book, and also one who has shown us the way toward improving on that dismal fate, OCTAVIA E. BUTLER (1947–2006) is recognized as among the bravest and smartest of contemporary fiction writers. A 1995 MacArthur Award winner, Butler transcended the science fiction category even as she was awarded that community’s top prizes, the Nebula and Hugo Awards. She reached readers of all ages, all races, and all religious and sexual persuasions. For years the only African-American woman writing science fiction, Butler has encouraged many others to follow in her path.

Praise For…

"Gripping ... poignant ... succeeds on multiple levels." The New York Times Book Review

"Literate ... thoughtful. And a real gut-wrencher." Washington Post Book World

"A powerful story of hope and faith in the midst of urban violence and decay ... Excellent science fiction and a parable of modern society." Denver Post

"A prophetic odyssey." —Essence

"Simple, direct, and deeply felt." Library Journal

"Artfully conceived and elegantly written." Cleveland Plain Dealer

"There isn't a page in this vivid and frightening story that fails to grip the reader." San Jose Mercury News
Product Details
ISBN: 9781609807191
ISBN-10: 1609807197
Publisher: Seven Stories Press
Publication Date: February 28th, 2017
Pages: 336
Language: English