Indy Book Club’s February Selection: ‘Parable of the Sower’

Octavia Butler’s Novel, Originally Published in 1993, Is Prophetic Rather than Merely Cautionary

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Octavia Butler once said that she had intended for her novel Parable of the Sower to be cautionary rather than prophetic. Originally published in 1993, the novel takes place in a 2020s United States during the presidency of a man who “wants to make America great again.” Sound familiar? 

Though the United States still exists and functions to some extent, climate change and socioeconomic crises have led to a severely restricted way of life, where belonging to a community is essential to survival. After the walls that were meant to protect them instead provoke an attack, main character Lauren and a few survivors travel north along the California coast in search of a new home. The story juxtaposes Lauren’s retellings of her travels with her collection of ideas and philosophies about creating an aspiration for the human race, and the force to which we are all subject: change. Butler’s harrowing story of danger, adventure, and hope will have your eyes glued to the page wondering what happens next.

February’s Indy Book Club theme is books written by Black women. To find more book recommendations on this theme, visit

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