An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse—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. Now an original series on HBO Max. More than 1.5 million copies sold!
Kirsten Raymonde will never forget the night Arthur Leander, the famous Hollywood actor, had a heart attack on stage during a production of King Lear. That was the night when a devastating flu pandemic arrived in the city, and within weeks, civilization as we know it came to an end.
Twenty years later, Kirsten moves between the settlements of the altered world with a small troupe of actors and musicians. They call themselves The Traveling Symphony, and they have dedicated themselves to keeping the remnants of art and humanity alive. But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who will threaten the tiny band’s existence. And as the story takes off, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, the strange twist of fate that connects them all will be revealed.
Listen to a sample from Station Eleven
Praise for Station Eleven
The Globe and Mail
“Like Cloud Atlas, the back-and-forth movements in Station Eleven allow the author to make thematic connections across time. But Station Eleven takes the device an exciting step further. It uses the movements in time to build an incredible emotional depth into its characters. ... The result is a novel that carries a magnificent depth. ... Station Eleven also uses some of conventions of genre — there is suspense, science fiction and elements of horrors — but this is undoubtedly a literary work. It’s a sweeping look at where we are, how we got here and where we might go. While her previous novels are cracking good reads, this is her best yet.”
“A novel that miraculously reads like equal parts page-turner and poem. One of her great feats is that the story feels spun rather than plotted, with seamless shifts in time and characters. ... “Because survival is insufficient,” reads a line taken from Star Trek spray-painted on the Traveling Symphony's lead wagon. The genius of Mandel’s fourth novel ... is that she lives up to those words. This is not a story of crisis and survival. It’s one of art and family and memory and community and the awful courage it takes to look upon the world with fresh and hopeful eyes.”
“Mandel delivers a beautifully observed walk through her book’s 21st century world. . . . I kept putting the book down, looking around me, and thinking, ‘Everything is a miracle.’”
San Francisco Chronicle
“A superb novel . . . [that] leaves us not fearful for the end of the word but appreciative of the grace of everyday existence.”
“Station Eleven is so compelling, so fearlessly imagined, that I wouldn’t have put it down for anything.”
George R. R. Martin
“Deeply melancholy, but beautifully written, and wonderfully elegiac . . . A book that I will long remember, and return to.”
This is my soul and the world unwinding, this is my heart in the still winter air. Finally whispering the same two words over and over: “Keep walking. Keep walking. Keep walking.”