Emily St. John Mandel was born in Canada and studied dance at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre. She is the author of the novels Last Night in Montreal, The Singer's Gun, The Lola Quartet and Station Eleven and is a staff writer for The Millions. She is married and lives in New York.
Author photo © Dese'Rae L. Stage
Maxim Jakubowski's April 2015 Book of the Month. Following the multi-award nominations of her 4th novel, the subtle post-apocalyptic Station Eleven, Mandel's earlier novels are finally being released in the UK and this, her first, is a poignant masterpiece (the other two, equally worthy of attention are The Singer's Gun and The Lola Quartet). A bleak but enchanting tale of lost souls, fathers and daughters, existential detectives, dancers and drifters set against the emptiness of the American (and Canadian) dream, it's a tale that weaves fragile connections between its characters and parallel stories, not quite a crime investigation -although crimes do take place-, not quite a love story -although love is the engine of the plot. Inevitable sadness, transient joys, most of all this is about the hole inside our souls and it affected me deeply. I might not have have made it sound terribly cheerful but be brave and jump into Mandel's fascinating world.
Winner of the Arthur C Clarke Award for Science Fiction 2015. Longlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2015. Following four wonderful literary crime novels (to be issued in the UK later), Canadian author Mandel breaks through with a beautifully modulated post-apocalypse tale, where a virus has decimated the world and a troupe of musicians and Shakespearean actors tour the Great Lakes area and hold up the flame of culture and civilisation. Through the prism of a variety of interlinked characters before and after the fall of society, Mandel offers a melancholy and poetic lullaby for the power of art and the succour of relationships. Full of striking images and strands: the rise and fall of a Falstaffian actor, the coming of age of a young girl in a brand new world, an airport that becomes a museum for humanity, the stark realities of a land now at war with itself and full of feral survivors, a comic strip whose provenance is prophetic, Mandel weaves a clever and moving web that will stay with you for a very long time. Chair of the Arthur C. Clarke Award judges, Andrew M Butler, said: “While many post-apocalypse novels focus on the survival of humanity, Station Eleven focuses instead on the survival of our culture, with the novel becoming an elegy for the hyper-globalised present.” Maxim Jakubowski October 2014 Highly Recommended. Sarah Broadhurst's view.. Not another plague apocalyptic book you cry! Oh yes, only this one is a bit special. It describes the ‘end of civilisation as we know it’ and the accompanying death of most of the world’s population in a highly effective, gentle way. Short snippets tell of gigantic events. We get lives before and after the ‘Georgia flu’ concentrating on an actor, a comic graphic artist and a group of travelling performers. The comic, starring one Dr Eleven, links both sections in a poignant manner. This is a very impressive work, a thrilling tale, a must read.
When Lilia Albert was a child, her father appeared on the doorstep of her mother's house and took her away. Now, haunted by an inability to remember much about her early childhood, Lilia moves restlessly from city to city, abandoning lovers and eluding the private detective who has dedicated a career to following close behind. Then comes Eli. When Lilia goes out for a paper and fails to return to their Brooklyn apartment, he follows her to Montreal, not knowing whether he wants to disappear, too, or help her find her way home. But what he discovers is a deeper mystery, one that will set past and present spinning toward collision.
Everyone Anton Waker grew up with is corrupt. His parents dealt in stolen goods, and he was a successful purveyor of forged documents until he abandoned it all in his early twenties, determined to live a normal life, complete with career, apartment, and a fiancee who knows nothing of his criminal beginnings. He's on the verge of finally getting married when Ariahis cousin and former partner in crimeblackmails him into helping her with one last job. Anton considers the task a small price for future freedom. But as he sets off for an Italian honeymoon, it soon becomes clear that the ghosts of his past can't be left behind so easily, and that the task Aria requires will cost him more than he could ever imagine.';A gripping story, full of moral ambiguities, where deception and betrayal become the norm, and where the expression '; a riddle wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma' is lifted to new heights.' St. Louis Post-Dispatch
2014 National Book Award FinalistA New York Times BestsellerAn 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. One snowy night Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production of King Lear. Jeevan Chaudhary, a paparazzo-turned-EMT, is in the audience and leaps to his aid. A child actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror as Jeevan performs CPR, pumping Arthur's chest as the curtain drops, but Arthur is dead. That same night, as Jeevan walks home from the theater, a terrible flu begins to spread. Hospitals are flooded and Jeevan and his brother barricade themselves inside an apartment, watching out the window as cars clog the highways, gunshots ring out, and life disintegrates around them. Fifteen years later, Kirsten is an actress with the Traveling Symphony. Together, this small troupe moves between the settlements of an altered world, performing Shakespeare and music for scattered communities of survivors. Written on their caravan, and tattooed on Kirsten's arm is a line from Star Trek: ';Because survival is insufficient.' But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who digs graves for anyone who dares to leave. Spanning decades, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic,this suspenseful, elegiac novel is rife with beauty. As Arthur falls in and out of love, as Jeevan watches the newscasters say their final good-byes, and as Kirsten finds herself caught in the crosshairs of the prophet, we see the strange twists of fate that connect them all.A novel of art, memory, and ambition,Station Eleventells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.