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Station Eleven (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

What do a dead Shakespearean actor, a paramedic, a prophet, and the keeper of the last graphic novel on Earth have in common? There's a deadly superflu, but also dozens of coincidences that connect these narrators in this profound and beautiful tale about what we hold onto at the end of the world. My favorite book of 2014, and definitely in my Top 10 of all time ever.

— Andrea

The plot sounds grim: decades after a population-decimating flu outbreak, a band of Shakespearean actors roams the desolate Midwest, performing for the makeshift communities of survivors who live in former gas stations, Wal-Marts. Yet Station Eleven is a tender and contemplative look at the power of love, memory, and imagination. St. John Mandel’s beautiful narration and intricate plot construction is as all-consuming as the disease that wipes out humanity’s heft. Chronological shifts reveal the world’s demiselectricity fails, gasoline runs out—and remember characters’ lives before Year 0—their failing marriages, their golden dreams.

— Julia

This post-apocalyptic endeavor is a beautifully written, terrifying journey into a future that feels real. We follow a caravan of musicians and actors who call themselves the Traveling Symphony, performing for forlorn survivors as they traverse the desolate landscape of what was once the Great Lakes. A fantastic look into human nature and the will to survive.

— Sara


An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization's collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

A National Book Award Finalist
A PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist

Kirsten Raymonde will never forget the night Arthur Leander, the famous Hollywood actor, had a heart attack on stage during a production of King Lear. That was the night when a devastating flu pandemic arrived in the city, and within weeks, civilization as we know it came to an end.

Twenty years later, Kirsten moves between the settlements of the altered world with a small troupe of actors and musicians. They call themselves The Traveling Symphony, and they have dedicated themselves to keeping the remnants of art and humanity alive. But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who will threaten the tiny band's existence. And as the story takes off, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, the strange twist of fate that connects them all will be revealed.

About the Author

Emily St. John Mandel was born in British Columbia, Canada. She is the author of three previous novels--Last Night in Montreal, The Singer's Gun, and The Lola Quartet--all of which were Indie Next picks. She is a staff writer for The Millions, and her work has appeared in numerous anthologies, including The Best American Mystery Stories 2013 and Venice Noir. She lives in New York City with her husband. www.emilymandel.com

Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9780804172448
ISBN-10: 0804172447
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: June 2nd, 2015
Pages: 352
Language: English


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