Staff Favorite of 2014: Station Eleven

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel


It’s the end of the world…as we know it…thanks to a pandemic wiping out nearly the entire world’s population.

But, at least there’s still a Traveling Symphony of Shakespearian actors and musicians, grasping and preserving bits of our culture along their routes through the desolate and unfriendly territories of the formerly friendly Great Lakes….

“I’ve been thinking lately about immortality. What it means to be remembered, what I want to be remembered for, certain questions concerning memory and fame. I love watching old movies. I watch the faces of long-dead actors on the screen, and I think about how they’ll never truly die. Not just the famous ones who everyone knows, the Clark Gables, the Ava Gardners, but the bit players, the maid carrying the tray, the
butler, the cowboys in the bar, the third girl from the left in the nightclub. They’re all immortal to me. First we only want to be seen, but once we’re seen, that’s not enough anymore. After that, we want to be remembered.”
― Emily St. John MandelStation Eleven


READ Jeff’s review of Station Eleven via Paste Magazine
Mandel…..creates a thinkpiece-dystopia, free of cannibalistic biker gang marauders and subjugated teen idols shooting arrows. When certain characters come face to face with the existential endgame of the apocalypse, they serve up stirring ruminations on the meaning of immortality….
The Traveling Symphony scuttles costumes and instruments as it travels, weary yet resolute, across the Great Lakes territory. The artists stop and perform in sparsely populated towns, presenting works by Beethoven or performing Shakespeare’s King Lear. “Because,” one actor explains with heavy wistfulness, “people want what was best of the world.”


FADL’s Head Of Circulation, Kelly, also picked Station Eleven as one of her favorite books of 2014:

Kelly: The last ten years have been rife with post-apocalyptic books, shows and movies. Station Eleven stands out from the crowd primarily because it makes room for art in its ruined world. The criss-crossing storylines bring depth to the characters by filling in their histories, and the intersections of those paths is where much of the magic of this book lies.
Find it:


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