Parable of the Sower


It's the year 2025 and the world is being torn apart and destroyed by global warming, prejudice, fire, insanity, pollution and scavengers.  Eighteen-year-old Lauren Olamina, a young black woman, is trying to survive in the desperate city of L.A.  Lauren suffers from "hyperempathy" which is a genetic condition that causes her to feel the pain that others suffer.  It's difficult enough to feel her own pain in this world where everyone is hiding behind walls to survive.

A group of pyromaniacs called "paints" are roaming the streets with an eye to destruction. When they attack and destroy her neighborhood, Lauren decides to leave and head north.  Taking a bag and Earthseed, her faith, Lauren starts her journey.  As she goes she will attract others to her dream of a better world, and start a new place where the world show witness to her belief that "God is change."

352 pages           978-0446675505    Ages 15 and up

Sequel: Parable of the Talents

Other books by this author: Bloodchild and Other Stories (Sci-fi);

Recommended by: Barb Langridge,


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.--from the publisher


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 revolutionary 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).

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