A "TESTAMENT… TO THE HUMAN SPIRIT": FIRST EDITION OF OCTAVIA BUTLER'S NEBULA AWARD-WINNING NOVEL, PARABLE OF THE TALENTS, BOLDLY SIGNED BY HER
BUTLER, Octavia E. Parable of the Talents. New York / Toronto: Seven Stories, (1998). Octavo, original black paper boards, original dust jacket. $1800.
First edition of one of Butler's final novels, the concluding work in her Parable Series—a "masterpiece" (New York Times)—boldly signed on the title page by her.
"By writing Black female protagonists into science fiction, and bringing her acute appraisal of real-world power structures to bear on the imaginary worlds," Butler became a prominent early voice of Afrofuturism (New Yorker). Her Parable series, begun with Parable of the Sower (1993), was continued by her series' final work, Parable of the Talents (1998). Awarded the 1999 Nebula Award for Best Novel, it was quickly heralded as a "masterpiece" (New York Times). The novel, which evokes a dystopian world in which "indentured servitude and slavery are common" (New Yorker), nevertheless stands "as a testament to the author's enormous talent, and to the human spirit" (Publishers Weekly). To Butler, the book "was not intended as an augur. 'This was not a book about prophecy,' she said… 'this was a cautionary tale'" (New Yorker). In addition to her two Nebula Awards—for Parable of the Talents and for Bloodchild (1985) as "Best Novelette"—Butler won two Hugo Awards: one for Bloodchild and another for her 1984 short story Speech Sounds. Following her sudden death in 2006, Butler was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2010. Her body of work "pushes the genre to speak to our deepest, culturally burdened horrors as well as to our transcendent hopes" (Kilgore & Samantraim, Memorial, 353).
Interior fine with scant foxing to fore-edge; mere trace of soiling to bright dust jacket. A handsome about-fine copy.