Knopf Publishing Group, Hardcover, 9780385353304, 352pp.
Publication Date: September 9, 2014
A New York Times Bestseller
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.
One snowy night Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production of "King Lear." Jeevan Chaudhary, a paparazzo-turned-EMT, is in the audience and leaps to his aid. A child actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror as Jeevan performs CPR, pumping Arthur's chest as the curtain drops, but Arthur is dead. That same night, as Jeevan walks home from the theater, a terrible flu begins to spread. Hospitals are flooded and Jeevan and his brother barricade themselves inside an apartment, watching out the window as cars clog the highways, gunshots ring out, and life disintegrates around them.
Fifteen years later, Kirsten is an actress with the Traveling Symphony. Together, this small troupe moves between the settlements of an altered world, performing Shakespeare and music for scattered communities of survivors. Written on their caravan, and tattooed on Kirsten's arm is a line from "Star Trek: " Because survival is insufficient. But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who digs graves for anyone who dares to leave.
Spanning decades, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, this suspenseful, elegiac novel is rife with beauty. As Arthur falls in and out of love, as Jeevan watches the newscasters say their final good-byes, and as Kirsten finds herself caught in the crosshairs of the prophet, we see the strange twists of fate that connect them all.A novel of art, memory, and ambition, "Station Eleven"tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.
Her previous novels are The Lola Quartet, which was the #1 Indie Next pick for May 2012; Last Night in Montreal (a June 2009 Indie Next pick and a finalist for ForeWord Magazine's 2009 Book of the Year); and The Singer's Gun (winner of an Indie Bookseller's Choice Award, #1 Indie Next pick for May 2010, long-listed for both The Morning News' 2011 Tournament of Books and the 2011 Spinetingler Awards.)
She is a staff writer for The Millions. Her essays and short stories have been included in numerous anthologies, including The Best American Mystery Stories 2013. She is married and lives in Brooklyn.
The shortlists â�� for fiction, nonfiction, poetry and young people's literature â�� were announced Wednesday on Morning Edition. More at NPR.org
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