In the late 1980s, Butler published her Xenogenesis trilogy—Dawn (1987), Adulthood Rites (1988) and Imago (1989). This series of books explores issues of genetics and race. To insure their mutual survival, humans reproduce with aliens known as the Oankali. Butler received much praise for this trilogy. She went on to write the two-installment Parable series—Parable of the Sower (1993) and Parable of the Talents (1998).
In 1995, Butler received a “genius” grant from the MacArthur Foundation—becoming the first science-fiction writer to do so—which allowed her to buy a house for her mother and herself.
“I wanted to write a novel that would make others feel the history: the pain and fear that black people have had to live through in order to endure.”