Parable of the Sower

Lauren Olamina lives in a walled neighborhood in Southern California; it’s dangerous to venture beyond the walls, where there’s little work, less food, and no law. A presidential campaign is on where one of the candidates promises to “make America great again” by restoring old Christian values. Olamina is thirteen when her father ventures out for work and never returns. Not long after, the walls fall, and she and a few other survivors must head out on foot, hoping for the best as they walk north. This, the first of two books, follows Olamina as she tries to build a community out of the ruins of late capitalism and climate change. In doing so she creates a—religion? philosophy? culture?—called Earthseed, which teaches that god is change and that humans are destined to travel the stars and create life on other worlds. Few other books pull me back again and again like this one, especially these days.

Related writing