2020 has been, as author and activist Adrienne Maree Brown puts it, "a very Parable time." The novels Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents were written by the late Octavia E. Butler, whose 73rd birthday would have been June 22nd, 2020.
Today, Brown and Parable of the Sower opera co-creator Toshi Reagon are launching Octavia's Parables, a new podcast created to amplify Butler's vision during this chaotic era. In a statement to The Portalist, Brown explained the inspiration behind the project:
Toshi and I are so excited to have this text to learn from in this moment, and we want as many humans alive to be exposed to Octavia's prophecies. We are hoping people will read along, read in community, and be more prepared for what's coming to us.
Listen to the debut episode of Octavia's Parables below now!
You can also listen from your preferred podcast platform.
In honor of Butler's June 22nd birthday, download the complete Earthseed series for just $5.99! Deal expires at midnight.
Each week, the hosts will explore a chapter from one of the Parable novels, incorporating original music, a focus on community-strengthening, analysis, and more.
The Parable Series — also referred to as Earthseed — takes place in a near-future shaped by climate change, unrest, and a despot who promises to "make America great again."
The uncanny similarity between Butler's books and current events has been apparent since before 2016. But due to coronavirus, widespread police violence, and the rise of fascism, her work is more urgent in 2020 than ever before.
In response, Black authors, artists, and activists are using their platforms to acknowledge the framework Butler left in her fiction for surviving eras of intense Change.
In addition to Octavia's Parables, anyone interested in Butler's work should also watch the 'Octavia Tried to Tell Us' webinar series, in which hosts Monica A. Coleman and Tananarive Due speak with authors, activists, artists, and others about the life-changing potential of Octavia Butler.
In honor of Butler's birthday, many of her books are on sale from now until June 23rd. Explore her work today!
Featured image via Instagram / @beasteadwell
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