"Published in 2015 by arrangement with Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company"--Title page verso.
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An Amazon Best Book of the Month, September 2014: A flight from Russia lands in middle America, its passengers carrying a virus that explodes “like a neutron bomb over the surface of the earth.” In a blink, the world as we know it collapses. “No more ballgames played under floodlights,” Emily St. John Mandel writes in this smart and sober homage to life’s smaller pleasures, brutally erased by an apocalypse. “No more trains running under the surface of cities ... No more cities ... No more Internet ... No more avatars.” Survivors become scavengers, roaming the ravaged landscape or clustering in pocket settlements, some of them welcoming, some dangerous. What’s touching about the world of Station Eleven is its ode to what survived, in particular the music and plays performed for wasteland communities by a roving Shakespeare troupe, the Traveling Symphony, whose members form a wounded family of sorts. The story shifts deftly between the fraught post-apocalyptic world and, twenty years earlier, just before the apocalypse, the death of a famous actor, which has a rippling effect across the decades. It’s heartbreaking to watch the troupe strive for more than mere survival. At once terrible and tender, dark and hopeful, Station Eleven is a tragically beautiful novel that both mourns and mocks the things we cherish. –Neal ThompsonFrom the Inside Flap:
On stage during a snowstorm King Lear collapses, and the actor playing him, Hollywood star Arthur Leander, never gets up. Young Kirsten Raymonde, child actress, watches from the wings as Arthur dies. A former paparazzo-turned-EMT in the audience tries to save him, leaving to discover the early stages of a fast-spreading flu have descended on the city and the world. Arthur's former wife reflects on their time together and the graphic novel that is her great work of art. Fifteen years after Arthur's death, the Traveling Symphony tours the Great Lakes region of a sparsely populated, greatly altered United States. Time is marked as before and after the flu, and lifelike the remnants of civilizationis still ever-fragile. An actress with the company, Kirsten bears an inscription from "Star Trek" on her arm"Because survival is insufficient"that is echoed on a Symphony caravan. In the town of St. Deborah by the Water, the Traveling Symphony provokes a local tyrant, a crisis that follows them onto the road. Emily St. John Mandel's "New York Times" bestselling "Station Eleven" is at once a gripping post-apocalyptic page turner and a hopeful, elegiac masterpiece that explores the connections that bind humanity. Shortlisted for the National Book Award and winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award, among many other honors and accolades, "Station Eleven" has joined the classic pantheon of imagined futures.
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