Episode 83

It’s always a delight to talk to one of the readers I admire most: returning guest of the show Marion Hill. Today, Marion joined me to talk about the sci-fi classic “Parable of the Sower,” and we had a great discussion about repeated readings, what makes a book sci-fi, and how Octavia Butler transcends any genre.

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Host: Julie Strauss

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Guest: Marion Hill

Discussed in this episode
The Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
(After we recorded this episode, I spotted this haunting graphic novel version of the book)
The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley
Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
The Fifth Season by NK Jemison
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin
The Dispossessed by Ursula K. LeGuin
Kindred by Octavia Butler
Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler
Artpace Gallery, San Antonio, Texas
Wild Seed by Octavia Butler (Listen to Marti Dumas tell me about Wild Seed on Episode 030)
The Little Country by Charles de Lint

Memory and Dream by Charles de Lint (Listen to Marion’s tell me about this book on Episode 008)
Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin

The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Discussed in our Patreon Exclusive clip
All the Seas of the World by Guy Gavriel Kay 
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead

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Hello, Bookworms, welcome to the Best Book Ever, the podcast where I get to know interesting people by asking them about their favorite books. I’m your host, Julie Strauss, and today I’m welcoming back one of my favorite guests, Marion Hill. As you’ve heard me say several times on this show, Marion is one of the most well-read people I know. What I’ve always admired about him is how he’s open to all genres, and he approaches his reading life with really thoughtful intent. Marion counts Octavia Butler is one of his all-time favorite authors, and it was a delight to talk to him today about her classic, The Parable of the Sower and why it is the Best Book Ever.


Julie Strauss: Hi, Marion, Welcome back to the Best Book Ever podcast. 

Marion Hill: Well, thank you, Julie. Thank you for having me back. I’ve been wanting to discuss this book in detail, and I know you have been wa nting to read this book for quite a while, so I’m happy to be on this podcast again and discuss one of my all time favorite books.

JS: I’m so excited you’re here and I’m so excited I finally read this book. I have a lot to ask you about, but where I want to start is: You were on this podcast about a year ago, and we talked a lot about the thing that I admire so much about you is how widely you read and how you read. It seems to me, you read just every genre. Can you tell me about what your reading life has been like in the year, since we last spoke? Has it changed? Has it increased? Has it decreased? What has your reading year been like? 

MH: Good question. I haven’t read as much as I wanted to. Just a lot’s been going on my life personally. But I think I started to read a little bit more nonfiction. I’ve always been a fiction reader. That’s just my love. I’ll always read, as you mentioned, widely across genres. But I read The Autobiography of Malcolm X. I read Martin Luther King’s last book, Where Do We Go from Here, and stuff I wouldn’t have read in the past that I’ve starting to add more to my reading life today. It’s kind of a beneficial way because now I can read something that’s factual and kind of offset what’s happening in fiction. So, so if there’s any change, I won’t say it’s a change. It’s just an addition, but adding a little bit more non-fiction. I have Caste by Isabel Wilkerson, which I’m going to read probably first of the year. So just trying to add those elements to my reading. That’s probably the main change. 

JS: Did something prompt that trek into nonfiction, or what was just one of those things where you looked and said, I don’t read enough nonfiction? Or did something push you?

MH: A little bit of both. I turned fifty in August, and I had never read the Autobiography of Malcolm X. And it had been on my shelf for years. I would look up hat and I’d never read it. I was like, you know what, I’m going to just sit down and read it. And I was just floored. I just was really floored about the personal transformation. Obviously if you read it, you know it’s a popular book. I don’t have to go into detail about it. And then I read Martin Luther King’s book right after it. And it just gave me a contrast of what was happening at the time. And I was like, you know what? I want to start reading more of these types of books going forward, as well as the fiction. I’ll always read all kinds of fiction out. That will never, ever change. But I want to add these books as well to my reading life. So just a little bit of me turning fifty and reflecting and just a natural progression, so to speak. 

JS: Yeah, there’s something about turning fifty, I think, that makes us all look around and go, I don’t know anything

MH: Yeah. I won’t get too into mortality, but it makes you reflect on what you’ve lived. Obviously, most people don’t live to a hundred, but fifty is kind of that marker for a lot of people. Okay, I’ve done this in my young life and now I’m solidly middle age now. What is important? And so I think for me, just thinking about those things, and I just realized these are books that have been around for a while and I had never read them before. So that’s kind of my thinking behind it. 

JS: And do you enjoy non-fiction the way that you enjoy fiction? Or does it feel like more of a chore to you?

MH: Good question. I’m always looking for story. And I think, especially in The Autobiography of Malcolm X, I felt more of a story, even though it was written a memoir style by Alex Haley. The Martin Luther King book was more of an essay, the way it was written. But it wasn’t a chore. Both the books were very easy to read, but I’m always looking for stories that are universal. So that’s my main thrust. I have to have that in any type of story. So that’s what I’m looking for. And if non-fiction can provide that, then I’m good with that too. 

JS: Just like last time we talked, I skimmed through your recent book reviews of the last year on your blog. And just like last time I was absolutely blown away by genres. I found Toni Morrison and modern fiction by Tayari Jones. I think we talked about Wallace Stegner last time, and I saw that you read another Wallace Stegner this year. NK Jemison.

MH: I reading her short story collection; that’s what I posted. But I’m actually reading The Fifth Season now. I just started last night. 

JS: Wow. I just, I love the way you read. I get so stuck in my favorite genres and my favorite authors. And I’m just always so impressed at the way you move around and expand your horizons. 

MH: I’ll explain it. Like I mentioned when I was on last, I worked at a couple of mom-and-pop bookstores when I lived in Santa Fe, and I worked at Borders. People don’t remember Borders was competition for Barnes and Noble. Borders was actually one of my favorite jobs, even though it didn’t pay a lot. But anyway, I saw in there, and it was just my own anecdotal evidence, how people will always just go to certain genres, whether it’s Tom Clancy Daniel Steele or, whoever. Reading, to me, it’s always been about exploration. This is art. Whether it’s bad art or good art, you should be able to explore it. And so that’s kind of been my philosophy about reading. And if it doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t work for you. There’s no harm. You’re not hurting anybody. It’s not going to be like, oh, you’re making that person feel bad or anything like that. It’s just, I want to try it, so try it. And you never know, you may like it. You may not, but it’s worth trying. And I just feel that way. 

JS: Are you that way about other kinds of art? Like, will you listen to any music or see any movie? Or is it just books that you’re so open about?

MH: Books and music, I’m pretty much open. Television – I’m not a huge fan. I like television, but it’s not my thing. I’ll watch it, enjoy it, but I’m pretty much into my documentaries and food shows for television. But it’s not a love like books and music. Even as a kid, if you talked to my mom, she would say Marion was always this way. I always read all kinds of different things, and music, I listened to all different types of music. It was just natural, those two things were just natural for me. But the other art forms, I’m a little bit more conservative, so to speak. 

JS: Tell me about this book that we’re talking about today, The Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler. Do you remember the first time you came across this book? 

MH: Yes. I came across this book when I was working as a bookseller back in 1993. I was living in Santa Fe and this book came out in, I believe, October or November of that year. I had just turned 22 years old. I’ll show it to you here, but I know people can’t see to it, but this is the original cover. And I saw this cover and I was just like, that’s an interesting cover. And I had never read Octavia Butler and she had written some novels previous to that before this book came. So I bought it and took a chance on it and it just … I had not read anything like that up to that time. And at that time, I was reading a lot of epic fantasy. I was reading a lot of Dean Koontz, so that was kinda my jam at the time. But I had not read anything like this before, and I was just floored by it. I read it three times already. When I was in my twenties, in my late thirties, and now I just read it again, on a few months ago, in my late forties, turning fifty. So this book has really grown with me over the years, and I’ve taken different things out of as I’ve read it. It’s really an interesting book. And whether you come at it from the end of the world diasporic angle, or you’re coming at it from a young girl growing into womanhood, it has a lot in there and it’s just, it’s something that stuck with me all these years. 

JS: I really want to get back to how it has changed for you over the years, but before we do that, can you give a brief summary of the book for my listeners who maybe haven’t read it? I know I’m one of the few people in the world who has not read this book, but for anyone else who hasn’t read it, can you tell them what it’s about? 

MH: It’s about the story of this young woman named Lauren. She lives in this gated community in a suburb of Los Angeles. And the world is coming to an end. I mean, it’s dystopian. The world’s really struggling. And so she lives with her father, who’s a minister, and her stepmother, Corazon, and her brothers. They’re trying to survive and trying to make do, and obviously all of a sudden, all you-know-what breaks loose and she ends up having to leave the community. In the meanwhile, she starts this pseudo-religion called Earthseed. The main tenet of it is God Is Change. I can get into that later; that’s part of the reason why this book has kind of stuck with me for over the years. She’s been writing this stuff for years and she’s trying to reluctantly tell people, but anytime, whether you’re religious or even if you’re just a business person who has these ideas that are not the norm, people are not receptive to that. Well, eventually it comes out and she has to leave the community. She ends up getting some like-minded people as they travel from California up north to Washington, where she feels is going to be safer. That’s kind of the book in a nutshell.

JS: I think it’s such a privilege to grow with the book the way you have, and to read it at different times in your life and understand it differently every time. As you know, this was my first time reading this book. And in addition, I am not a scifi reader anyway. So tell me what it has been like for you. What did you think of this book the first time and the second time and the third time you read it? 

MH: Well, the first time I read it, I was just blown away by Butler. She writes very stark, very honest, very direct. And also, I just saw someone who looked like me in a different way. We talked about this last time, when we discussed Memory and Dream, that I, up to this point, I hadn’t, it wasn’t just seen. You know, being a young, Black girl, she had our own mind. She’s dealing with religion. She’s dealing with environmental issues. Maybe there were other books out there like that, but at that time I hadn’t read anything like that. So it gave me inspiration, because I had just started writing my own stories at the time. And I was like, you know, someone is writing different. Not just in the paradigm that’s expected for people who look like me. So that’s the really main impression that I got when I first read. 

JS: And what about now? What’s it like for you to read it at your age in 2021? 

MH: Well, I have a daughter, Nora. She’s 12 and she’s a few years younger than Lauren. Her relationship with her father, even though she breaks away from his version of Christianity, she revered her father and had a connection with her father. So it made me think about my own relationship with my daughter, and how close we are, and how we read books together and how we talk about things. And she’s starting to be a teenager. Eventually she’ll kind of pull away from me as well. Hopefully we’ll be able to have a close relationship. To me, when I read it a couple months ago, that’s what I was thinking about more than anything is the relationship she had with her father. And that connection, it just really touched me. Even though that’s fictional, I still want to have that relationship with my daughter and talk about things. He kind of gave her some wise counsel about not sharing everything, because everybody’s not able to receive, especially if we have ideals different than everybody else. Makes me think I may have to have that conversation one day with Nora. She talks about things that are quote unquote the norm, so that I took a lot more of that from that this time reading it.

JS: Tell me your thoughts about this religion that she is forming – the Earthseed religion. 

MH: Like I said, the first time, I was like, Hmm. God is change? I wasn’t religious at the time. I was like, oh, that’s interesting. And so I viewed it on that level. The second time I read it, in my late thirties, I was definitely much into the church. I was definitely a church-going person. And so I was like, wait a minute. The Bible says Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. How can he change? And so it kind of rubbed me the wrong way at that time. But now reading it again, I think Butler’s just trying to say that change is an inevitable part human life. Whether you believe in this deity or not, you change. It’s inevitable. How do you handle that? And I just think for me, that’s such a big message, especially turning fifty, and then we’re dealing with the pandemic and everything. We have to be able to understand that change is inevitable. How do we react to it as human beings? We can’t stay stagnant or stuck in the mud. For me reading it this time, I was much more flexible than I was when I read it the second time far as that piece of it. So that’s what I took from it, from the religion. 

JS: Tell me what you think of  – I’m very cynical about humans forming religions. My thought through this whole book is, well, she’s a cult leader. Right? And she’s forming a cult. And I know she wouldn’t say she’s forming a cult. No one in a cult ever thinks they’re in a cult. Right? So did you feel that it was cultish? Did you feel that this was just another start to the same old thing?

MH: Good question. I never felt it was cultish, cause I’ve always believed people as human beings. We need to believe in something bigger than ourselves, whether it’s in this case, a religion or we believe in our careers, or we believe in something about us as human beings, we have to believe in something bigger. She’s fifteen now. Maybe at twenty-five or thirty, I may feel a little bit more like you, because this is a grown person. They’ve had life experience. But at fifteen, I really felt she was trying to figure out the world that was disintegrating around her. And as a fifteen year old, being a teenager, all kinds of things are happening with their body hormones. She has this intelligence about what is this world about, and she’s trying to figure it out. So I’ve always seen the book on that level more so than anything sinister. I know the word cult has a sinister label to it, but I never saw it that way. I saw it as her trying to figure out how to survive and how to hold onto something bigger than herself, if that makes sense. 

JS: Yeah. I did too, as I was reading it, but then the book ends and it goes on to the next book. And I intentionally didn’t read it that the sequel. I have it here, but I didn’t want to read it before I talked to you because I did want to ask you. I feel like it could go either way. I feel like the next book is she going to become some sort of great and terrible cult leader or is Earthseed the actual answer to all of these problems? And it’s a great place to end. 

MH: Yes, it is. Well, without giving it away, I will say the second book is much more political than it is religious. And I think it’s the ramifications of that philosophy and how it affects the political. A lot of people who’ve come to this book, especially in the last five to six years, obviously with the previous president and the slogan and stuff that’s been mentioned. People have gravitated toward that book. I will admit that I liked the book, but it didn’t touch me as much as this one, because this one had more of a spiritual element that I could wrap myself around.

JS: Is what you mean by that –  I have heard this, I think, that the second one, Parable of the Talents, the sequel, has a sort of … bad president. Let’s just say that. And his slogan is make America great again, correct? 

MH: Correct. And she wrote that in 1988. So people are like, wow, how prophetic, years later. Our previous president, whether you agree with his politics or not, says the same slogan. And so I think people really gravitated towards, well let’s what is she saying about our current political situation? So I would just say that book leans more heavily into that. She does it a little bit here in Parable of the Sower, but it really, that really wasn’t the focus. 

JS: I have to ask you sort of a dumb question, but what makes this science fiction? I mean, this is considered a classic of science fiction and I looked it up that because I thought, how is this science fiction? What is the definition of science fiction? I read “fiction based on imagined future scientific or technological advances and major social and environmental changes, frequently portraying space or time travel.” I’ve got to say, reading it now, there doesn’t feel anything futuristic about it. Everything felt very real.

MH: Yeah. Well, the second part of what you said, the psychological aspects, and then there are environmental issues. So I think that’s where it’s loosely science fiction. What I think is, her previous books, she had written the Pattern Master series before this. So they were assigned science fiction. Once you’re in that club, or in that genre, even if it’s not science fiction, you’re going to be labeled that way. So I think more of it that way. I think a lot of this is close to what Ursula K. LeGuin did with the books like The Dispossessed and The Left Hand of Darkness, where it was the psychological aspects more than exploration of space or stuff like that. But to me, hat second part of what you said earlier is probably what makes this book science fiction more than anything.

JS: So, reading it the first time – the environmental collapse must have been… I mean, I was 22 then, as well, and it, it seemed like something that’s never really going to happen. And now that we’re in those actual year, it just does not feel far-fetched. But it must’ve felt very farfetched.

MH: It, it did. I hadn’t heard of climate change or any of that stuff back then. It just wasn’t talked about, and I just accepted it as part of the story. I didn’t have any great thoughts about it. But now, reading it all these years later, I’m like, man, she really saw ahead of what was going to happen. No one’s perfect, but she’s a human being. She has limitations, but they have, the insight of this is a possible future is like, wow. So it does feel very current now, very real now. The book, it’s almost 30 years old.

JS: Yeah, I guess I was just waiting for, I don’t know, aliens to show up or something? It just felt to me like if the government collapsed tomorrow, this is exactly how it would go down. It felt so real and logical. 

MH: And I think her writing is so poignant. It isn’t flowery. There’s nothing wrong with flowery writing. I like flowery just like anybody. But this is so poignant. It’s so stark. And it just hits you. That, to me, I think, makes it feel even, even more real, if that makes sense. It’s like, she’s telling a story, but she’s like, I’m giving it to you straight. I’m not, I’m not pushing, I’m not pulling any punches here, so to speak. 

JS: So you mentioned that you are currently reading NK Jemison. The version of the book that I have has a forward by Jemison. And I also have never read her, but I see her mentioned a lot as sort of inheriting the mantle, or inheriting the crown, I guess, of Octavia Butler. Do you feel that they are similar writers? 

MH: Good question. I think the starkness of it are similarities, but I think in NK Jemison, from what I’m reading so far, is a little bit different than her world so far. And not that Butler’s world building is bad; her world-building is fantastic. To me, as someone who loves a magical fiction, I was just like, oh, I can see this world. I can feel this world even. And I’m just starting with The Fifth Season. So I think there are differences are there. And I think Jemison has more fantasy aspects in it. Butler leans more into science fiction or sociological sciences. The lines are blurred, but to me, there is a difference between the two. But I can definitely see her influence on her. The sharpness of her writing and the bluntness of a writing is definitely a Butler influence in her work. From what I’ve read so far. 

JS: Is this your favorite Octavia Butler book? 

MH: Yes. Yeah. Hands down. 

JS: How many of her books have you read? 

MH: I’ve read Wild Seed. I’ve read Kindred. I’ve read the sequel to this one, Parable of the Talents, 

JS: Is this a good start for people who have not read Octivia Butler? 

MH: I was hoping you asked this. I’ve always felt this is a perfect place to start because she deals with these big themes about religion and environmental issues. And I think because you had been mentioning that this book is not science fiction. And so I think especially a lot of literary fiction readers, I think this would be the place to go. But what I’ve noticed over the years, a lot of literary fiction readers who come to Octavia Butler go to Kindred, which is her slave time travel novel, which is an excellent novel. I want to get that out there. It’s excellent novel. It’s my least favorite because it kind of reminds me of the stuff that we, as African Americans, talk about a lot. But it’s a great novel. It should be worth reading, but I always thought this novel here goes even further.

JS: There is the sequel, Parable of the Talents and she began to write a third parable novel before she died. Did you know that?

MH: Yeah. Parable of the Trickster? Yes. That was going to be a third one. But I have to say, I wish she was here, obviously, but I do think the two books are two halfs of a whole. I’m pretty sure she would have told a good story with the third book, but they may have been too much. But I do think these two books fit together. And once you read the second, even though I didn’t like it as much, I think you have to read both of them. 

JS: I’m telling you, that cult was going to get out of control. I know someone’s going to take over and be terrible.

MH: You know, that’s possible. 

JS: Before we started recording, you said that you had just been to a book club meeting about Parable of the Sower, and you had a different opinion than the other people in your book club. Can you tell me about that? 

MH: Well, yeah, it was a local gallery here called Artpace, and they have a book club every other month. In October they did Parable of the Sower, and there were four of us and we were talking about the book and everyone loved the book. My different opinion was because I had read it for the third time and I was coming from it from thinking about my daughter, and that relationship. So I talked a lot about that while they were talking about the environmental stuff, and about this integration of the society. It wasn’t, I won’t say a difference. It’s just that I came from it from as a father, looking at her as my daughter, and how my daughter respond if she was in the situation like that and that relationship. I spoke a lot about that, where they spent more on the other elements, such as the scifi nature of it. What would you do if you’re forced out of the community? What happened to the young brother, Keith, they talked a lot about that situation. What happened there? Obviously, I don’t want to give it away, but what happened there. So a lot of discussion was around him.

JS: Well, I, like I told you, I have Parable of the Talents. I will read that next. And I also have Kindred, which I have held on to. So I wanted to read this one first. Yeah. So I’m going to keep going. I think, because of Activia Butler, maybe I like scifi? I’m not sure. 

MH: Well, you may. Yeah. That’s interesting. A lot of people who come to her eventually go on and read other books like that. Because she comes at it from a psychological perspective. She’s not coming at it from a typical science fiction perspective of space exploration or anything like that. Serious readers can really launch latch on to that. And that, even though this is a little bit out of my league, the characters are so interesting and her writing is so sharp that you can really gravitate to it and grab onto that. 

JS: Yeah. I think you’ve nailed it. I think that’s exactly what the appeal is for me, because I get very intimidated by scifi and fantasy. But this one felt very approachable and real, and so I’m less intimidated to read it. Even if aliens do show up in her other books. I read Wild Seed for this podcast at the beginning of the year, which is definitely scifi. They sort of traveled through space. 

MH: They are immortal. So definitely, yeah, that’s more scifi. Yep. That was an earlier series before she published the parable books.  It’s a full book series. She wrote those in the late seventies, but that was her first series. She was writing for years and then, you know, obviously, she’s a Black woman, she’s writing science fiction. And at that time, she was probably the only one. So, you know, outside of the small science fiction community, she wasn’t well known. And then years go by and she wrote Kindred, which was kind of her mainstream novel, which a lot of literary fiction readers still read. And then obviously she passes away and then these books come out and now, the culture caught up to her. 

JS: I wish we had done it while she was alive, and she could enjoy her accolades. 

MH: Yes, absolutely. I wrote a blog post about rereading your favorite books. And for me, I have a new theory about reading my favorite books. I think a favorite book, for me, is what I have to reread over the course of my life. Not just my favorite that year, and I may read it again. But having this book be in my life for thirty years and now rereading it, it makes me rethink. And there’s going to be very few books. Obviously, we don’t live, you know, 200, 300 years, but there’s going to be a very short list of books. And so it’s made me think of my all-time favorite books and how many times I’ve read them and how I’ve grown with them. And it’s only a very short handful. So for me, it’s just been great to grow with a book like this, even at times where I may have disagreed with some of it, but it’s still a great story. And it makes you think. Great art does that. It makes you think about things in a different way, in a different perspective over time. That’s why it’s one of those books for me. 

JS: What other books are on that list for you that you reread? 

MH: The Little Country by Charles deLint. We did Memory and Dream, but A Little Country. Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin. The movie was awful, but the story is, is fantastic. The book of Ecclesiastes from the Old Testament. I’m not proselytizing here, but that book has been the most philosophical in the Bible. There’s just stuff in there with wisdom over the years that you can apply to. And then the other book is The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. His experience about being Black in America. It’s a sad book, but there is something that I’ve taken over the years as I’ve read it. So those are my shortlist. 

JS: I’ve never read The Invisible Man. 

MH: Yeah. It’s a tough book. It’s about, it’s a 600 page. It’s a long novel and it’s tough. But you talk about beautiful writing? Ellison writes beautifully in there and it just hits you. And every time I read it, he hits me. And let me say one more thing, if I could, about this book. I’m big into diversity. Her stepmother was Hispanic, her neighbors were Chinese, other neighbors were white and she had a mixed couple along with them. The diversity, and I know we use that word a lot, but it felt so real. It didn’t feel forced upon you. People will get together in dire situations and people will cross lines, so to speak. And to me to see that this book, especially in the early nineties, when a lot of that wasn’t talked about that way, to me, is another takeaway in this second and third time. I know more books are starting to be published like that, but at this time I hadn’t read anything like this. It was just honest. It wasn’t forced, it wasn’t a quota system or anything. It was just, these people are trying to survive in this situation and people will get together. 

JS: I’m really glad you brought that up because there was a moment where I think she made a really subtle point about that. They were out and they had started traveling and the couple, the interracial couple was together and there was some line about – cause you know, they’re kind of in competition with other travelers. There is some line about if people know that you two are together, there’s going to be violence. And my thought as a reader was, are you kidding me? We’re still fighting about this? You people don’t have water! It just makes you realize how stupid we sound. 

MH: I know, but hatred cuts deep, and ignorance cuts deep. Even if your situation is terrible, if you see something that you don’t think is right, you can focus that hatred, that anger, towards it. And I think Butler was probably speaking to that. People will react in a certain way, which doesn’t benefit them anyway. 

JS: So, I think what I think what we’re saying here is that Octavia Butler was some sort of, what is she? A witch? Did she have some sort of future vision? Cause it’s so wild, her insight into human nature.

MH:  And unfortunately, I won’t say unfortunately, I think because she’s a science fiction writer and how we have treated genre writers. You know, a few of them have broken out – the Ray Bradbury’s, the Ursula LeGuins of the world. Which is great. Great writing is great writing and great insight can come from any genre. And I think to me is our biggest lesson. I’m glad people who are quote unquote serious readers are finally discovered her. And I think if you have an understanding of human beings, that comes out. Especially in this book and her other books as well, it comes out clear. She has a keen understanding of human beings and the society that we’re living in and how we deal with each other. 

JS: Marion, it is always so great to talk to you. You know you always have an open invitation to come back and tell me about books anytime. You always introduced me to such great books and I want to thank you for joining me today. Will you tell my listeners how they can find you online? 

MH: They can find me at my website and on Instagram.

JS: Super, thank you so much. It’s been so great talking to you.

MH: Thank you, Julie. Thank you for having me again, really enjoyed this conversation. 


Thanks for listening, Bookworms! . I’m your host, Julie Strauss, and you can find me on Instagram. You can also follow the podcast on Instagram, where you can see some of my favorite quotes from the podcast, occasional photos of my reading cave, and get bookish news from friends of the show. You might even catch a glimpse of our official mascot, Benny, the meanest bunny on the planet. I really love most social media, but I love the Instagram book community. So come on over and let’s chat books.

Thanks for joining me today. And I will see you at the library.

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