One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time—from the actor’s early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as The Travelling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains—this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor’s first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet. Sometimes terrifying, sometimes tender, 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.
“Absolutely extraordinary.” —Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus
“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 review)
“Think of Cormac McCarthy seesawing with Joan Didion. . . . Magnetic.” —Kirkus(starred)
Read an excerpt from chapter 1
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WHY STATION ELEVEN?
Living in a small isolated town in the far north, it’s not hard to imagine disaster launching our community into complete chaos. But Juneau is a community that knows how to work together in a crisis, like in April 2008 when an avalanche cut off the main hydroelectric power leaving only diesel backup which raised utility rates by 447%. With no federal or state aid, the community came together to provide grants to small businesses and find practical ways to reduce energy consumption by an unprecedented 30%. This is why Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel rings true as a narrative to inspire discussions about past, present, and potential hardships through an artistic lens. The themes of survival-physical, emotional, and cultural-have great local relevance and through programming we hope to examine the history of epidemics in Alaska; boost knowledge about emergency preparedness and infectious disease prevention, and promote kindness and respect for different perspectives.