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Octavia Butler Biography

(1947–2006), Patternmaster, Mind of My Mind, Wild Seed, Dawn, Adulthood Rites, Imago, Parable of the Sower

American science fictionwriter, born in Los Angeles, educated at Pasadena City College and California State University at Los Angeles. She received Hugo Awards for her short story ‘Speech Sounds’ and her novelette ‘Bloodchild’ in 1984 and 1985. Butler's novels incorporate African mythology, urban realism, and spiritual exegeses into tales of aliens, genetic mutation, and telepathy. Her heroes are strong and intelligent African and African-American females and her characters frequently strive to break away from the hierarchical restrictions of their lives towards a better world of intelligence and tolerance. Among her novels are the ‘Patternist’ series, including Patternmaster (1976), Mind of My Mind (1977), and Wild Seed (1980), which concern a community of telepaths and the roles played by genetics, gender, and race in the sustainment of this system; the ‘Xenogenesis’ series, including Dawn (1987), Adulthood Rites (1988), and Imago (1989), which details the consequences of crossbreeding between an alien race and the few human beings left alive following a nuclear holocaust; and Parable of the Sower (1993), which presents a twentyfirst century world in the midst of disintegration, and a young African-American woman's search for a place where she and a community of believers might create a new society. See Utopia and Anti-Utopia.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Burghers of Calais to Peter Carey Biography