|Octavia Butler's Parable series|
And there Butler left it. The long-promised third book, Parable of the Trickster, never arrived.
Last December I had the improbable privilege to be the very first scholar to open the boxes at the Huntington that contain what Butler had written of Trickster before her death. What I found were dozens upon dozens of false starts for the novel, some petering out after twenty or thirty pages, others after just two or three; this cycle of narrative failure is recorded over hundreds of pages of discarded drafts. Frustrated by writer’s block, frustrated by blood pressure medication that she felt inhibited her creativity and vitality, and frustrated by the sense that she had no story for Trickster, only a “situation,” Butler started and stopped the novel over and over again from 1989 until her death, never getting far from the beginning.
My own analysis of The Parable of the Talents remains unfinished, because by the time I worked through the second volume of Butler' series, I realized that I would only have room to include an analysis of the first volume in my own book, so my in-depth analysis stops with the first volume (see previous posts)--a volume I recommend highly.