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The time is 2025. The place is California, where small walled communities must protect themselves from hordes of desperate scavengers and a roaming band of people addicted to a drug that activates an orgasmic desire to burn, rape and murder. When one small community is overrun, Lauren Olamina, an eighteen-year-old black woman with the hereditary trait of 'hyperempathy' - which causes her to feel others' pain as her own - sets off on foot along the dangerous coastal highways, moving north into the unknown.
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"Gripping... poignant... succeeds on multiple levels." --The New York Times Book Review"Literate... thoughtful. And a real gut-wrencher." --Washington Post Book World "A powerful story of hope and faith in the midst of urban violence and decay... Excellent science fiction and a parable of modern society." --Denver Post "A prophetic odyssey." --Essence "Simple, direct, and deeply felt." --Library Journal "Artfully conceived and elegantly written." --Cleveland Plain Dealer "There isn't a page in this vivid and frightening story that fails to grip the reader." --San Jose Mercury News
A writer who darkly imagined the future we have destined for ourselves in book after book, and also one who has shown us the way toward improving on that dismal fate, OCTAVIA E. BUTLER (1947-2006) is recognized as among the bravest and smartest of contemporary fiction writers. A 1995 MacArthur Award winner, Butler transcended the science fiction category even as she was awarded that community's top prizes, the Nebula and Hugo Awards. She reached readers of all ages, all races, and all religious and sexual persuasions. For years the only African-American woman writing science fiction, Butler has encouraged many others to follow in her path.
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