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Parable of the Talents
Cover of Parable of the Talents
Parable of the Talents
Earthseed Series, Book 2
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Best-selling author Octavia E. Butler's acclaimed novels have won numerous awards, and she is a recipient of a "genius" grant from the MacArthur Foundation. Parable of the Talents was selected as one of the best books of the year by Publishers Weekly. Environmental devastation and economic chaos have turned America into a land of horrifying depravity. Assault, theft, sexual abuse, slavery, and murder are commonplace. Taking advantage of the situation, a zealous, bigoted tyrant wins his way into the White House. Directly opposed is Lauren Olamina, founder of Earthseed—a new faith that teaches "God Is Change." Persecuted for "heathen" beliefs as much as for having a black female leader, Earthseed's followers face a life-and-death struggle to preserve their vision. Butler's fluid writing and keen observations about race, gender, politics, and religion make for a moving parable that will be pondered for generations. A powerful reading from three standout narrators captures the multi-generational sweep of this poignant tale.
Best-selling author Octavia E. Butler's acclaimed novels have won numerous awards, and she is a recipient of a "genius" grant from the MacArthur Foundation. Parable of the Talents was selected as one of the best books of the year by Publishers Weekly. Environmental devastation and economic chaos have turned America into a land of horrifying depravity. Assault, theft, sexual abuse, slavery, and murder are commonplace. Taking advantage of the situation, a zealous, bigoted tyrant wins his way into the White House. Directly opposed is Lauren Olamina, founder of Earthseed—a new faith that teaches "God Is Change." Persecuted for "heathen" beliefs as much as for having a black female leader, Earthseed's followers face a life-and-death struggle to preserve their vision. Butler's fluid writing and keen observations about race, gender, politics, and religion make for a moving parable that will be pondered for generations. A powerful reading from three standout narrators captures the multi-generational sweep of this poignant tale.
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  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from July 1, 2003
    Lauren Olamina, a black teenager, grew up in a 21st-century America that was tearing itself apart. Global warming, massive unemployment, gang warfare and corporate greed combined to break down society in general and her impoverished southern California neighborhood in particular. A victim of hyperempathy syndrome, a disorder that compels its victims to believe they feel others' pain, Lauren found herself homeless and alone in a violent world. Escaping from the urban jungle of Los Angeles, Lauren founded Acorn, a hard-working, prosperous rural community based on the teachings of Earthseed, a religion she herself created and centered on the ideas that God is Change and that humanity's destiny is to go to the stars. Butler's extraordinary Parable of the Sower (1996) detailed the aforementioned events. In this equally powerful sequel, Acorn is destroyed by the rising forces of Christian fundamentalism, led by the newly elected U.S. president, the Reverend Andrew Steele Jarret. A handsome man and persuasive orator, seemingly modeled in part on Pat Robertson, Jarret converts millions to his sect, Christian America, while his thugs imprison, rape and murder those they label "heathens," all the while kidnapping their children in order to raise them in Christian households. The narrative is both impassioned and bitter as Butler weaves a tale of a frighteningly believable near-future dystopia. Lauren, at once loving wife and mother, prophet and fanatic, victim and leader, gains stature as one of the most intense and well-developed protagonists in recent SF. Though not for the faint-hearted, this work stands out as a testament to the author's enormous talent, and to the human spirit.. Author tour. (Nov.) FYI: In 1995, Butler received a MacArthur Foundation ("genius") Award.

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Parable of the Talents
Parable of the Talents
Earthseed Series, Book 2
Octavia E. Butler
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