I just started reading Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. The book jacket includes the following description: “An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.”
In the first chapter, Arthur Leander, a famous actor, suffers a heart attack during a performance of King Lear at a Toronto theater. Jeevan Chaudhary is in the audience and jumps onstage to try to save him, using his skills as an EMT-in-training, but there’s nothing he can do. Kirsten Raymonde, a child actress, stands onstage and watches in fear. As Jeevan walks home from the theater, he gets a call from his good friend, Hua, a doctor at the city hospital. Hua tells him to leave the city right away. A flu pandemic is about to take over the city…
This is Mandel’s fourth novel. Here’s a short biography from her website, emilymandel.com:
St. John’s my middle name. The books go under M.
Emily St. John Mandel is the author of four novels, most recently Station Eleven, which was a finalist for a National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award, and won the 2015 Arthur C. Clarke Award. A previous novel, The Singer’s Gun, was the 2014 winner of the Prix Mystere de la Critique in France. Her short fiction and essays have been anthologized in numerous collections, including Best American Mystery Stories 2013. She is a staff writer for The Millions. She lives in New York City with her husband.
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