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Good Work Book Club

The (Historic) Glebe House | 635 Main Street, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Join others who are part of the Good Work Institute community for a discussion of Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler. Space is limited to 15, so please RSVP if you are able to read this NOVEL and willing to participate in the discussion. Snacks will be provided; feel free to bring a beverage to share!

The Book: Parable of the Sower is the odyssey of Lauren Olamina, an 18 year old, hyper-empathetic black woman who feels others’ pain as her own in the hyper-dehumanized world of 2025. The place is California, where small, walled communities must protect themselves from hordes of desperate scavengers and roaming bands of people addicted to a drug that activates an orgasmic desire to burn, rape, and murder. Written in 1993, the book was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

The Author: Octavia Estelle Butler, often referred to as the “grand dame of science fiction,” was a multiple recipient of both the Hugo and Nebula awards, and in 1995 was the first science-fiction writer to receive a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship. She died of a stroke in 2006, at the age of 58.

The Discussion: We’ll share what new thoughts and feelings this book prompted in us, and what insights it offers toward creating futures that aren’t a natural extension of the times we are currently living in. When you register, you will be invited to share questions, links and discussion topics with the host – please submit them by October 16th.

Book Club Host: Serving as one of the Good Work Institute’s six Worker Trustees, Susan Grove started working with GWI in 2017, and “is honored and energized to focus on connecting and supporting Hudson Valley people, projects and organizations working to foster a Just Transition.”

Why This Book: “I first read this book in my 20s. When I see it on my bookshelf, I feel gratitude. It allowed me to picture clearly an imaginable future I didn’t want, planted seeds of anti-violence awareness in contrast to socialization that normalized killing, guns and war, and cultivated a strong desire to do my part in shaping the kind of future I desire. Decades later, and in light how Octavia Butler inspired aspects of Emergent Strategy (September Good Work Book Club), I am eager to reread and discuss this in community with people who are curious about how we might move from the extractive status quo to the regenerative future we can imagine.”