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.
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
It’s not too late! You can listen to the audiobook version of “Station Eleven” on KOPN, or read topical essays on the book in the Sunday Ovation section in the Columbia Daily Tribune.
Starting August 31, the entire book will be available in 30-minute segments on KOPN (89.5 FM) every weekday from
1-1:30 p.m. (No broadcast on Monday, September 7, Labor Day.)
Each Sunday in September, the Ovation section of the Columbia Daily Tribune will feature an article by Library Associate Elaine Stewart reflecting on a topic or theme in “Station Eleven.”
And when you are looking for a way to participate in this year’s One Read event, you can find all of the programs in the library’s online guide.
This year’s author visit comes earlier in the program. Don’t miss this chance to hear Emily St. John Mandel speak about her novel “Station Eleven.” After her remarks, she will answer questions from the audience and sign copies of her book.
Thursday, September 10 at 7 p.m.