Station Eleven (Paperback)

By Emily St. John Mandel

Vintage, 9780804172448, 352pp.

Publication Date: June 2, 2015

List Price: 16.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.

September 2014 Indie Next List

“This is a harrowing and wonderful book -- blunt and elegant, wise and frightening, and utterly plausible at every turn. The characters are complicated, but their stories, short or long, are always deeply engaging. We -- our species -- always find ways, little by little, not just to survive but also to reestablish a sense of place, of community, and of compassion. Unsentimental yet deeply moving, Station Eleven is a terrific achievement.”
— John Christensen, Arcadia Books, Spring Green, WI
View the List

Description

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


Praise For Station Eleven

One of the Best Books of the Year: The Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, Buzzfeed, and Entertainment Weekly, Time, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Minnesota Public Radio, The Huffington Post, BookPage, Time Out, BookRiot

 
Station Eleven is so compelling, so fearlessly imagined, that I wouldn’t have put it down for anything.”
— Ann Patchett
 
“A superb novel . . . [that] leaves us not fearful for the end of the word but appreciative of the grace of everyday existence.” —San Francisco Chronicle 

“Deeply melancholy, but beautifully written, and wonderfully elegiac . . . A book that I will long remember, and return to.”
— George R. R. Martin

 “Absolutely extraordinary.” —Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus
 
 
“Darkly lyrical. . . . A truly haunting book, one that is hard to put down." —The Seattle Times
 
“Tender and lovely. . . . Equal parts page-turner and poem.”—Entertainment Weekly
 
“Mesmerizing.” — People
 
 “Mandel delivers a beautifully observed walk through her book’s 21st century world…. I kept putting the book down, looking around me, and thinking, ‘Everything is a miracle.’”—Matt Thompson, NPR  
 
“Magnificent.” —Booklist
 
“My book of the year.”—Karen Joy Fowler, author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves 
 
“Unmissable. . . . A literary page-turner, impeccably paced, which celebrates the world lost.” —Vulture
 
“Haunting and riveting.”—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
 
Station Eleven is the kind of book that speaks to dozens of the readers in me—the Hollywood devotee, the comic book fan, the cult junkie, the love lover, the disaster tourist. It is a brilliant novel, and Emily St. John Mandel is astonishing.” —Emma Straub, author of The Vacationers
 
“Think of Cormac McCarthy seesawing with Joan Didion. . . . Magnetic.”  —Kirkus (starred)

“Even if you think dystopian fiction is not your thing, I urge you to give this marvelous novel a try. . . . [An] emotional and thoughtful story.” —Deborah Harkness, author of The Book of Life

“It’s hard to imagine a novel more perfectly suited, in both form and content, to this literary moment. Station Eleven, if we were to talk about it in our usual way, would seem like a book that combines high culture and low culture—“literary fiction” and “genre fiction.” But those categories aren’t really adequate to describe the book” —The New Yorker

“Audacious. . . . A book about gratitude, about life right now, if we can live to look back on it." —Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“A surprisingly beautiful story of human relationships amid devastation.” —The Washington Post

“Soul-quaking. . . . Mandel displays the impressive skill of evoking both terror and empathy.” —Los Angeles Review of Books

“A genuinely unsettling dystopian novel that also allows for moments of great tenderness. Emily St. John Mandel conjures indelible visuals, and her writing is pure elegance.” —Patrick deWitt, author of The Sisters Brothers

“Possibly the most captivating and thought-provoking post-apocalyptic novel you will ever read.” —The Independent (London)

“A firework of a novel . . . full of life and humanity and the aftershock of memory.” —Lauren Beukes, author of The Shining Girls

“One of the best things I’ve read on the ability of art to endure in a good long while.” —Tobias Carroll, Electric Literature

“Will change the post-apocalyptic genre. . . . This isn’t a story about survival, it’s a story about living.” —Boston Herald

 “A big, brilliant, ambitious, genre-bending novel. . . . Hands-down one of my favorite books of the year.” —Sarah McCarry, Tor.com

“Strange, poetic, thrilling, and grim all at once, Station Eleven is a prismatic tale about survival, unexpected coincidences, and the significance of art.” —Bustle, “Best Book of the Month”

“Disturbing, inventive and exciting, Station Eleven left me wistful for a world where I still live.” —Jessie Burton, author of The Miniaturist


Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

  1. Now that you’ve read the entire novel, go back and reread the passage by Czeslaw Milosz that serves as an epigraph. What does it mean? Why did Mandel choose it to introduce Station Eleven?generic viagra price canada
  2. Does the novel have a main character? Who would you consider it to be?generic viagra price canada
  3. Arthur Leander dies while performing King Lear, and the Traveling Symphony performs Shakespeare’s works. On page 57, Mandel writes, “Shakespeare was the third born to his parents, but the first to survive infancy. Four of his siblings died young. His son, Hamnet, died at eleven and left behind a twin. Plague closed the theaters again and again, death flickering over the landscape.” How do Shakespearean motifs coincide with those of Station Eleven, both the novel and the comic?generic viagra price canada
  4. “Survival is insufficient,” a line from Star Trek: Voyager, is the Traveling Symphony’s motto. What does it mean to them?generic viagra price canada
  5. On a related note, some characters—like Clark—believe in preserving and teaching about the time before the flu. But in Kirsten’s interview with François Diallo, we learn that there are entire towns that prefer not to: “We went to a place once where the children didn’t know the world had ever been different . . . ” What are the benefits of remembering, and of not remembering?generic viagra price canada
  6. What do you think happened during the year Kirsten can’t remember?generic viagra price canada
  7. Arthur remembers Miranda saying “I regret nothing,” and uses that to deepen his understanding of Lear, “a man who regrets everything,” as well as his own life. How do his regrets fit into the larger scope of the novel? Other than Miranda, are there other characters that refuse to regret?generic viagra price canada
  8. Throughout the novel, those who were alive during the time before the flu remember specific things about those days: the ease of electricity, the taste of an orange. In their place, what do you think you’d remember most?generic viagra price canada
  9. What do you imagine the Traveling Symphony will find when they reach the brightly lit town to the south?generic viagra price canada
  10. The novel ends with Clark, remembering the dinner party and imagining that somewhere in the world, ships are sailing. Why did Mandel choose to end the novel with him?generic viagra price canada


Coverage from NPR