Station Eleven

Finalist, National Book Awards 2014 for Fiction

ISBN 9780385353304
Alfred A. Knopf/ Random House
Emily St. John Mandel. (Photo credit: Sharah Schatz)
Emily St. John Mandel

Emily St. John Mandel is the author of six novels, most recently Sea of Tranquility. More about this author >

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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 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.

Judges Citation

After a virulent flu sweeps the world and civilization collapses, a troupe of musicians and Shakespearean actors moves from camp to village in North America giving performances. The rise of a dangerous prophet, a rare graphic novel, and a carefully curated Museum of Civilization are only a few of the rich elements woven through this deeply inventive and mesmerizing novel that raises questions of what humanity longs for when nearly all seems lost.