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Why Isn’t Octavia Butler a Household Name?

September 18, 2017

 

 

All that you touch, you change; all that you change, changes you.”   

  --Octavia E. Butler, Parable of the Sower

 

I have always loved science fiction and speculative fiction. When I was still in elementary school, I complained that the Sweet Valley High books I had read were not challenging enough. My mom took me to the library and handed me George Orwell’s 1984. My life was never the same.

 

Throughout my reading life, I have consumed books by Heinlein, Asimov, Bradbury, and Vonnegut. In college, I discovered Margaret Atwood and began to read her entire bibliography. Over time, each of these books has helped to shape my identity.

 

When the Hulu adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale was set to premiere, I read this list of dystopian novels recommended by Margaret Atwood herself. Many of them, like Huxley's