Check out FERNDALE READS: Station Eleven

Ferndale Reads 2016: Station Eleven

Read One Book as One Community, with special events in April/May

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Starting March 15th, you can join a city-wide book club called FERNDALE READS, with two months’ worth of programs and events hosted at the Ferndale Library correlated with the themes of the acclaimed dystopia novel Station Eleven.

Station Eleven, written by Emily St. John Mandel, has plenty of interesting motifs for us to muse upon, including the preservation of art, the beauty of performance and writing, the vitality of community and the perseverance of the human spirit. Inspired by King Lear as much as Star Trek, the book follows a troupe of theater performers caravanning across the Great Lakes region in the stark aftermath of a population-culling contagion; close-knit thespians seeking the last shreds of civilizations and sweetening their collective existence with the best and most artistic works of the foregone world.

Free copies of Station Eleven will be available for anyone who wants to participate in FERNDALE READS. You will need a library card from any of The Library Network’s list of member libraries, including Royal Oak, Oak Park, Hazel Park, Huntington Woods, Berkley, Pontiac, and Madison Heights, along with other stand-alone libraries like Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills and Southfield. You can log on to: http://tln.lib.mi.us/md/ to find out whether your library card shares lending services with Ferndale.

As we said, Station Eleven is a dystopian or post-apocalyptic novel, but it’s written with an uncanny amount of poignancy and relatability. Whereas previous works in this genre trade heavy on varying degrees of doom and gloom or perhaps Orwellian dread, this book, instead, presents a more real world image of an apocalypse. Starting out in Toronto, and then arcing across Michigan, we follow several characters before, during and after the onset of an epidemic.

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Other iconic works in post-apocalyptic literature have liked to indulge or overemphasize the fright and panic of this scenario, but Mandel is a much more calming narrative voice, bringing you into the lives of her well-defined characters, acquainting you with their unique walks of life (before it all went to hell) and portraying their varying reactions, both physically and emotionally. Mandel’s mastery is in her subtle way of inspiring readers to curiously wonder: What would I do if all of it, society as we know it, went down tomorrow…? What does one do? What happens, next? (Read a review of Station Eleven from PASTE Magazine). 

As with several past Ferndale Reads installments, the improv troupe at Go! Comedy in Ferndale will contribute a fun and inventive series of performances featuring some satire and playful spoofs inspired by the plot of Station Eleven.  This special series of shows, entitled “Survival is Insufficient” will be running in April at 9:00 pm. Tickets are $10 or $5 with a valid Ferndale library card. SCROLL DOWN for the full schedule!

This year’s series will also feature several special events, “Is This the Promised End? Shakespeare and Station Eleven” on Apr. 14; “Bring Out Your Dead: A History of Pestilence, Plague and Pandemics on May 3 and Food of the Apocalypse, where you can try food that’ll get you through the end of the world on May 9. During Ferndale Reads (March-May), the library will have special displays, including our very own Museum of Civilization, based on the one in the book. There will also be a reading challenge and we’ll be asking readers to tell us what they’ll miss when the apocalypse hits. There will also be four chances to join our book clubs and discuss Station Eleven.

Station Eleven is also this year’s Great Michigan Read pick, chosen by the Michigan Humanities Council. The Ferndale Reads events will culminate with a visit by author Emily St. John Mandel at The Tangent Gallery in Detroit on May 19. The library will even have a bus to take thirty lucky readers to the event in style!

Confirmed Ferndale Reads Events

March 15th – Pick up your free copy of Station Eleven at the Ferndale Library

                      Science Fiction Book Club discusses Station Eleven

April 6th – “Survival is Insufficient” – Go! Comedy – 9:00 pm

April 13th – “Survival is Insufficient” – Go! Comedy – 9:00 pm

April 14th – Is This the Promised End: Shakespeare and Station Eleven – 7:00 pm

April 21st – Thursday Afternoon Book Club, discussing Station Eleven – 12:30 pm
                   “Survival is Insufficient” – Go! Comedy – 9:00 pm
April 26th – Friends Book Club discusses Station Eleven – 7:30 pm

April 28th – “Survival is Insufficient” – Go! Comedy – 9:00 pm

May 3rd –  Bring Out Your Dead: A history of Pestilence, Plague, and Pandemics – 7:30 pm

May 9th – Food of the Apocalypse – 7:00 pm

May 18th – Book Party discusses Station Eleven (at the Emory in Fendale)7:30 pm

May 19th – Author Emily St. John Mandel visits The Tangent Gallery in Detroit

For more information, contact the Ferndale Library: 248-546-2504

Happy Reading!

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