Firestorm's Visionary Readers Group Pick — save 10%!
This highly acclaimed post-apocalyptic novel of hope and terror from award-winning author Octavia E. Butler "pairs well with 1984 or The Handmaid's Tale" (John Green, New York Times)--now with a new foreword by N. K. Jemisin.
When global climate change and economic crises lead to social chaos in the early 2020s, California becomes full of dangers, from pervasive water shortage to masses of vagabonds who will do anything to live to see another day. Fifteen-year-old Lauren Olamina lives inside a gated community with her preacher father, family, and neighbors, sheltered from the surrounding anarchy. In a society where any vulnerability is a risk, she suffers from hyperempathy, a debilitating sensitivity to others' emotions.
Precocious and clear-eyed, Lauren must make her voice heard in order to protect her loved ones from the imminent disasters her small community stubbornly ignores. But what begins as a fight for survival soon leads to something much more: the birth of a new faith . . . and a startling vision of human destiny.
Loved by our collective!
This is the first book I read after the 2016 general election. So many people in my life had been protesting, marching, sitting in, shutting down, and organizing for a world free of oppression, and that project had just been dealt a huge blow. It felt like the start of an especially horrific turn, and Octavia Butler had seen it all coming in 1993. And through the life and words of Sower's protagonist, Lauren Oalmania, was telling us what we could do about it. Or, perhaps more accurately, what we might have to do about it, much like Lauren is forced throughout the story. A bleak depiction of our future that feels alarmingly close to our present, it is only through Lauren's creativity, innovation, and self-determined faith that we receive any relief from the desperate and violent world crumbling around her. I'm forever grateful to Octavia for warning of what might come and offering a visionary resource in what we might do to adapt, change, and survive.