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Station Eleven (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

As the narrative moves from the fatal heart attack, onstage, of a Shakespearian actor in the present day to life 20 years after a vicious flu strain wipes out most of humanity, Mandel creates an alternate society that feels very real. This is not, however, your usual post-apocalyptic dystopian novel. Amid the grief and fear, there’s a sense of hope, as we follow a traveling Shakespeare troupe as they perform, along with musicians, for small settlements around the great lakes.  The conflicts that arise are littered with the detritus of our popular culture, as well as Shakespeare and symphonies. The complete isolation of each community as they grasp at re-creating civilization is palpable, and the desire for community rings out in the author’s beautiful prose.


— From Laurie


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.

Coverage from NPR

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