Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
A dystopian novel about a travelling theatre troupe in a future where the world has become a barren wasteland
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 theatre 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. (From HarperCollins Canada)
Station Eleven was adapted into a TV series for HBO Max. It can be seen on Crave TV in Canada.
Station Eleven will be championed by actor, director and choreographer Michael Greyeyes on Canada Reads 2023.
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Emily St. John Mandel is a bestselling Canadian author currently living in New York and Los Angeles. Her other novels include The Glass Hotel, which was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and Sea of Tranquility.
"I thought that it would be a book set in the present day. I knew I wanted to write about the life of an actor. I was interested in the idea of what it means to devote your life to your art. I thought it would be a quiet, literary novel about an actor in present-day Canada... but there was something else that i have really been wanting to write about for a while. And that was the awe that I feel at this world in which we find ourselves.
I wanted to write about this extraordinary place and time in which we find ourselves. and of course one way to write about something is to write about its absence.- Emily St. John Mandel
"We are surrounded by a level of infrastructure and technology that at any other point in human history would have seemed absolutely miraculous. I wanted to write about this extraordinary place and time in which we find ourselves. and of course one way to write about something is to write about its absence. I was thinking about Station Eleven as a love letter to the modern world, written in the form of a requiem."