Parable Read

The citywide read returns with Octavia E. Butler's classic sci-fi novel.

JAN 19–MAR 30, 2020


Inspired by Octavia E. Butler’s novel, ArtsEmerson’s resident artist Toshi Reagon returns to Boston with the Parable of the Sower opera. In preparation for the performances, join New Roots Church, The Boston Public Library, and ArtsEmerson in a city wide read of this timely story. Butler’s insights on humanity and the beliefs that shape society give us a framework to radically reimagine our world. Through the Parable Read, community members will engage in a city wide conversation about climate change, survival, and ways of deepening our humanity.

2018's Citizen Read involved more than 1,300 area residents from over 80 groups. For Parable Read, you can participate with your pre-existing book club or neighborhood specific book clubs.

How to participate in the Parable Read:

Register. Read. Converse. Collaborate.



Butler's best-selling 1994 book was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. The novel tells the story of a young woman who lives in a not-so-distant America where climate change has driven society to violence and the brink of extinction. When she loses both family and home, she ventures out into the unknown. What begins as a desperate fight for survival leads to something much more profound: a startling vision of human destiny that births the seeds of a new faith.

Parable of the Sower Book Cover