The Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler is HuffPost Readable’s April Book Pick

welcome to HuffPost Readable, HuffPost’s own book club that features a new book every month to devour, celebrate, and discuss with other readers. At the beginning of each month, you can pick up a copy of the book we are presenting and participate in our open discussions on HuffPost Canceled Packages Facebook Page. We look forward to reading with you.

We are in 2024 and climate change has made the planet almost inhospitable. Scorching temperatures, food and water shortages, economic strife, corrupt politicians, and strained class relations have become a chilling reality for Lauren Olamina, her small Southern California community, and the terrifying world that exists just beyond their door.

“Parable of the Sower,” Octavia E. Butler’s 1993 novel that was recently picked up for a film adaptation, delves into themes of gender roles, race, the pitfalls of runaway capitalism, and the antiquity of modern religion, all through hyper empathetic and staring into the eyes of Olamina, a preacher’s daughter, and her enlightened vision of the future.

Throughout the novel, we are fed bits and pieces of Olamina’s new religion called “Earthseed”, a collection of verses that focus on the nature of change and our ability to harness it in order to shape our future. After narrowly escaping an attack on her community that kills her family and burns down her home, these prolific verses become the foundation of Olamina’s goal and a roadmap to follow as she, accompanied by a group improbable, journey towards the possibility of a better life. North.

On par with similar works of dystopian fiction such as Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” and George Orwell’s “1984,” Butler’s vision is poignant and told with such inescapable clarity that we feel compelled to listen and possibly to change our own reality.

To complement the important conversations waiting to be had in this book, HuffPost will be conducting an open and informal discussion on HuffPost’s Canceled Plans Facebook page. Starting April 15, you’ll find our chat prompts on the page, and we’ll be back throughout the month to hear your thoughts, answers, and questions.

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