Why did I love this book?
In Octavia Butler’s essential novel, the main character Lauren reveals a belief system she calls Earthseed, which departs from the religions she was taught growing up in an apocalyptic Los Angeles. When I first read Parable of the Sower years ago, I felt terror and grief for the characters as they traveled the landscape of my childhood—most of my stories now are set on the West Coast. I also felt in the Earthseed writings a sort of peace or balance, and only later learned how mythologies reflect their cultures of origin, that the stories can convey, literally or figuratively, shared values and traumas. If so, then amid personal, cultural, economic, and environmental upheaval, Earthseed is a form of bravery, a beginning and embracing of the future.