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Parable of the Sower (Paperback)

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(SciFi and Fantasy)

Staff Reviews

Parable of the Sower scared the hell out of me. Octavia Butler drops us into a near future in which corrupt idiots rule the United States, infrastructure is crumbling, cities are crawling with dispossessed people who devour drugs to dull their pain, and fires rage through much of California. We experience this world through the eyes of Lauren Olamina, a sixteen year old who literally experiences the pain of others. Though usually unable inflict pain, a decided disadvantage in this violent world, Olamina is determined to survive. She’s even developed a religion, Earthseed, whose key belief, “God is change,” provides her with the strength to adapt to any situation. Much of the book follows Olamina as she attempts to convert followers and develop a new community. This work of dystopian fiction really stands out because of the emotional depth of these characters and the care Butler puts into fleshing out Earthseed. This is the kind of book that works your heart and and yet leaves you with so much to chew and reflect on. 

— From David's Picks


Parable of the Sower is a dystopian classic of terror and hope-the story of an African American teenage girl trying to survive in an all-too-real future-from the "grand dame" of science fiction, Octavia E. Butler.

When unattended environmental and economic crises lead to social chaos, not even gated communities are safe. In a night of fire and death, Lauren Olamina, an empath and the daughter of a minister, loses her family and home and ventures out into the unprotected American landscape. But what begins as a flight for survival soon leads to something much more: a startling vision of human destiny...and the birth of a new faith, as Lauren becomes a prophet carrying the hope of a new world and a revoltionary idea christened "Earthseed".

Chilling and thought-provoking for adult and young adult readers alike, "...there isn't a page in this vivid and frightening story that fails to grip the reader" (San Jose Mercury News).

*Includes reading group guide

About the Author

OCTAVIA E. BUTLER, often referred to as the "grand dame of science fiction," was the author of several award-winning novels including Parable of the Talents, winner of the Nebula Award for Best Novel. Recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant and numerous literary awards, she has been acclaimed for her lean prose, strong protagonists, and social observations in stories that range from the distant past to the far future. She passed away on February 24, 2006.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780446675505
ISBN-10: 0446675504
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: January 1st, 2000
Pages: 352
Language: English
Series: Earthseed