About the Book
“Station Eleven” is a literary, post-apocalyptic page-turner.
Twenty years after a deadly flu outbreak kills most of the world’s population, what survives? What matters? This haunting novel begins with the on-stage death of famous actor Arthur Leander during his performance of King Lear, which coincides with the beginning of the pandemic. The narrative moves back and forth between Leander’s younger life and 20 years after his death, weaving the stories of a handful of people connected to him – some closely, like his ex-wife, and some by the smallest thread, like the EMT who attempted to save his life or the child actress with whom Leander briefly shared a stage. A lyrically written examination of the importance of art and what it means to be human.
The book’s UK publisher describes “Station Eleven” as “thrilling, unique and deeply moving … a beautiful novel that asks questions about art and fame and about the relationships that sustain us through anything — even the end of the world.”
As part of this year’s One Read program and taking inspiration from “Station Eleven,” we invited you to tell a story about a world’s end, and what came after. The world could be small and personal, like one’s family or home, or more literal, like a country or planet.
We received thrilling tales about the collapse of human civilization and quiet stories of people soldiering on after the loss of a spouse or a close friend. Some characters adapted to the loss of technology, others to an empty nest – and they did so in no more than 250 words. Thank you to everyone who entered and shared the worlds of your imagination with us.
Our two winners are Janese Silvey and Amie Burling. Writer Ann Youmans received Honorable Mention.
We are pleased to share with you the winning stories.
A big thank you to all of you who read or listened to “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel and joined us for one of this year’s outstanding One Read events. Over the past month we have explored the importance of art and community to survival. We have rediscovered Shakespeare. We have contemplated the end of the world and what comes after. As a community we have investigated the themes and topics in this book through discussions, lectures, films and art. We appreciate the hundreds of you who attended events and promoted this book to your book clubs, your coworkers and your families.
Our sincere thanks to you for being a part of this year’s One Read!
Have an idea for what one book our community should read next? Visit this site or any library branch in November to suggest a book for next year.
Listen to KFRU’s David Lile interview this year’s One Read author Emily St. John Mandel about her book “Station Eleven.”
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For this year’s One Read art exhibit, we asked area artists to contribute works that explore the objects or relationships in our connected, complex and electrified world that we’d yearn for most if they were lost to us.
At the exhibit’s opening reception on September 15, the following winners and honorable mentions were announced. Congratulations to all!
by Michelle Marcum