Welcome to HuffPost Readable, HuffPost’s very own book club that features a new book each month to devour, celebrate and discuss with fellow readers. At the beginning of each month you can grab a copy of the book we feature and take part in our open discussions on HuffPost’s Canceled Plans Facebook page. We look forward to reading with you.
The year is 2024, and climate change has rendered the planet nearly inhospitable. Scorching temperatures, water and food scarcity, 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 gate.
“Parable of the Sower,” Octavia E. Butler’s 1993 novel that has recently been picked up for film adaptation, delves into themes of gender roles, race, the pitfalls of unchecked capitalism and the antiquity of modern religion, all through the hyper-empathetic and observing eyes of a Olamina, a preacher’s daughter, and her enlightened vision for the future.
Throughout the novel, we are fed bits of Olamina’s new religion of sorts called “Earthseed,” a collection of verses that emphasizes 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 her home, these prolific verses become the foundation for Olamina’s purpose and a road map to follow as she, accompanied by an unlikely group, travels to the possibility of a better life up 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 change our own reality.
To supplement 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. Beginning April 15, you can find our discussion prompts on the page and we will check back throughout the month to hear your thoughts, responses and questions.
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