Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

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New Introduction by TOSHI REAGON

Parable of the Talents celebrates the Butlerian themes of alienation and transcendence, violence and spirituality, slavery and freedom, separation and community, to astonishing effect, in the shockingly familiar, broken world of 2032. Long awaited, Parable of the Talents is the continuation of the travails of Lauren Olamina, the heroine of 1994's Nebula-Prize finalist, bestselling Parable of the Sower. It is told in the voice of Lauren Olamina's daughter—from whom she has been separated for most of the girl's life—with sections in the form of Lauren's journal. Against a background of a war-torn continent, and with a far-right religious crusader in the office of the U.S. presidency, this is a book about a society whose very fabric has been torn asunder, and where the basic physical and emotional needs of people seem almost impossible to meet.

As Ms. Butler herself explained, "Parable of the Sower was a book about problems. I originally intended that Parable of the Talents be a book about solutions. I don't have the solutions, so what I've done here is looked at the solutions that people tend to reach for when they're feeling troubled and confused."

And yet, human life, oddly, thrives in this unforgettable novel. And the young Lauren of Parable of the Sower here blossoms into the full strength of her womanhood, complex and entirely credible.

Don't miss the first book in the Parable series, Parable of the Sower!

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“This work stands out as a testament to the author's enormous talent, and to the human spirit.”

“Butler sets the imagination free, blending the real and the possible.”

blog — June 22

40% Off Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents for Octavia Butler's Birthday!

Happy Birthday to Octavia Butler, our favorite Gemini-Cancer cusp speculative fiction genius! For 24 hours only, we're offering 40% off both Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents exclusively on our site. That means you've got till 12:00PM EST on 6/23 to pick up these two great books at the discounted price. Don't delay!

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A writer who imagined the dark future we have chosen for ourselves in book after book, Octavia E. Butler (1947–2006) is recognized as among the bravest and smartest of late twentieth century fiction writers. A 1995 MacArthur Genius Award winner, Butler transcended the science fiction category even as she was awarded that community’s top prizes, including the Nebula and Hugo Awards. Not merely a prophet of dystopia, Butler also wrote of the ways human beings might subvert their dismal destiny. “I write about people who do extraordinary things,” Butler has said, “it just turns out that it was called science fiction.” Her novels and stories have reached readers of all ages, all races, and all religious and sexual persuasions. For years the only prominent African-American woman writing science fiction, Butler has encouraged many others to follow in her path. The Octavia E. Butler Scholarship was established in her memory in 2006, providing scholarships for young people of color to attend the Clarion Writers’ Workshop, where Butler herself began writing science fiction.