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Station Eleven
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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.
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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

Reviews

Praise for "Station Eleven" ""Station Eleven "is so compelling, so fearlessly imagined, that I wouldn't have put it down for anything." -- Ann Patchett ""Station Eleven" . . ." "I couldn't resist . . . You should read it, too . . . It'll make you marvel at the world as we know it . . . [and] remind you the people who drive you the most crazy are perhaps also the ones you don't want to live without." -- Mary Pauline Lowry, "Huffington Post" "Books Blog" "Never has a book convinced me more of society's looming demise than Emily St. John Mandel's "Station Eleven," an apocalyptic novel about a world just like our own that, much as our own might, dissolves after a new strain of influenza eradicates 99 percent of the human population. A soul-quaking premise, and a story that, I must warn, should not be read in a grubby airport surrounded by potential carriers of ... whatever disease, take your pick . . . Mandel displays the impressive skill of evoking both terror and empathy . . . She has exuded talent for years . . . There is such glory in humanity, in what we, through every plague and every age, continue to create -- like this book -- and in what we are capable of sustaining." -- Tiffany Gibert, "LA Review of Books" "Mandel comes by a now-common genre mash-up, highbrow dystopia, honestly, following three small-press literary thrillers. By focusing on a Shakespeare troupe roving a post-pandemic world of sparse communities, she brings a hard-focus humanity to the form. Repeated flashbacks to the life of an early flu victim, a Hollywood actor who dies onstage in the character of Lear, provide both comic relief and the pathos of a beautifully frivolous world gone by." -- Boris Kachka's 8 Books You Need To Read This September, "Vulture" "Disappear inside the exquisite post-apocalyptic world of Emily St. John Mandel's "Station Eleven" and you'll resurface with a greater appreciation for the art and culture we daily take for granted. With fearless imagination, Mandel recounts the peripatetic adventures of an eccentric band of artists, musicians, playwrights, and actors as they traverse the world's dreary landscape attempting to keep culture and art alive in the aftermath of a devastating disease that has wiped out much of civilization . . . Strange, poetic, thrilling, and grim all at once, "Station Eleven" is a prismatic tale about survival, unexpected coincidences, and the significance of art and its oft under-appreciated beauty. " -- September 2014's Best Books, "Bustle" "The most buzzed-about novel of the season." -- Stephan Lee, "Entertainment Weekly" "In this unforgettable, haunting, and almost hallucinatory portrait of life at the edge, those who remain struggle to retain their basic humanity and make connections with the vanished world through art, memory, and remnants of popular culture . . . a brilliantly constructed, highly literary, postapocalyptic page-turner." -- Lauren Gilbert, "Library Journal" (starred) "This fast-paced novel details life before and after a flu wipes out 99 percent of the earth's population . . . As the characters reflect on what gives life meaning in a desolate, postapocalyptic world, readers will be inspired to do the same." -- "Real Simple" "Once in a very long while a book becomes a brand new old friend, a story you never knew you always wanted. "Station Eleven" is that rare find that feels familiar and extraordinary at the same time, expertly weaving together future and present and past, death and life and Shakespeare. This is truly something special." --Erin Morgenstern, author of "The Night Circus" "Station Eleven is a magnificent, compulsive novel that cleverly turns the notion of a "kinder, gentler time" on its head. And, oh, the pleasure of falling down the rabbit hole of Mandel's imagination -- a dark, shimmering place rich in alarmingly real detail and peopled with such human, such very appealing characters." -- Liza Klaussmann, author of "Tigers in Red Weather""Her best, most ambitious work yet. Post-apocalyptic tales are all the rage this season, but Mandel's intricate plotting and deftness with drawing character makes this novel of interlinked tales stand out as a beguiling read. Beginning with the onslaught of the deadly Georgian flu and the death of a famous actor onstage, and advancing twenty years into the future to a traveling troupe of Shakespearean actors who perform for the few remaining survivors, the novel sits with darkness while searching for the beauty in art and human connection." -- Most Anticipated: The Great Second-Half 2014 Book Preview, "The Millions" "Ambitious, magnificent . . . Mandel's vision is not only achingly beautiful but startlingly plausible, exposing the fragile beauty of the world we inhabit. In the burgeoning postapocalyptic literary genre, Mandel's transcendent, haunting novel deserves a place alongside "The Road, The Passage, "and "The Dog Stars."" --Kristine Huntley, "Booklist" (starred) "[An] ambitious take on a post-apocalyptic world where some strive to preserve art, culture and kindness . . . Think of Cormac McCarthy seesawing with Joan Didion . . . Mandel spins a satisfying web of coincidence and kismet . . . Magnetic . . . a breakout novel." - "Kirkus" (starred) ""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 " ""Station Eleven" is a firework of a novel. Elegantly constructed and packed with explosive beauty, it's full of life and humanity and the aftershock of memory." -- Lauren Beukes, author of "The Shining Girls" "Disturbing, inventive and exciting, "Station Eleven" left me wistful for a world where I still live." -- Jessie Burton, author of "The Miniaturist" "A unique departure from which to examine civilization's wreckage . . . [a] wild fusion of celebrity gossip and grim future . . . Mandel's examination of the connections between individuals with disparate destinies makes a case for the worth of even a single life." -- "Publishers Weekly"

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