Parable of the Sower

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UPC: 9780446675505
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Author: Octavia E. Butler
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This title is the April 2019 pick for the FEMINIST SCI-FI BOOKCLUB! Find out more here.

The Nebula Award–winning author of Kindred presents a “gripping” dystopian novel about a woman fleeing Los Angeles as America spirals into chaos (The New York Times Book Review).

Lauren Olamina and her family live in one of the only safe neighborhoods remaining on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Behind the walls of their defended enclave, Lauren’s father, a preacher, and a handful of other citizens try to salvage what remains of a culture that has been destroyed by drugs, war, and chronic shortages of water, gasoline, and more. While her father tries to lead people on the righteous path, Lauren struggles with hyperempathy, a condition that makes her extraordinarily sensitive to the pain of others.
When fire destroys their compound, Lauren’s family is killed and she is forced out into a world that is facing apocalypse. With a handful of other refugees, Lauren must make her way north to safety, along the way conceiving a revolutionary idea that may mean salvation for all mankind.
From a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship who has won multiple Nebula and Hugo Awards, this iconic novel is “a gripping tale of survival and a poignant account of growing up sane in a disintegrating world” (The New York Times Book Review).


"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


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.