Book Review: Butler’s Parable of the Sower

Milo and the Calf

Parable of the Sower

Octavia Butler
I call myself a science fiction fan, and a progressive, but somehow, I’d reached middle age without having read Parable of the Sower. FAIL.

Very pleased to have filled this gap in my education.

Parable of the Sower is a modern classic of the dystopian future subgenre of science fiction. In a future Southern California plagued by drought, massive economic inequality, and violence*, Lauren Olamina, a young African American woman, who can literally feel your pain, sets out to found a new religion and head north to a better life. This is book is ostensibly a journal she keeps of her journey. The book is divided into two parts: The first covers Olamina’s discovery of her religious calling, which blossoms as her home life disintegrates under the pressures of a failing society. In the second half, she finds her first followers, and clarifies her…

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