Anna’s Adventures, “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel

“Station Eleven” is a science- ction mystery novel by Emily St. John Mandel, one of the authors featured at this year’s Pee Dee Fiction and Poetry Festival hosted at FMU.

This noir novel is about a post-apocalyptic world. A virus called the Georgia Flu wipes out most of the human population and civilization crumbles.

“Station Eleven” is a captivating novel that explores what a world would be like without technology. This means no cellphones, no Internet, no electricity and no cars. Society, as most of us know it, revolves around these things.

Mandel sees this story as an appreciation of the technologically advanced world we live in.

“It’s like a love letter to the world today,” Mandel said when discussing her novel at the Pee Dee Fiction and Poetry Festival.

The book provokes thought on how civilization would continue in the event of an epidemic. It makes individuals re-evaluate the emphasis we as a society have put on technology and consider how much we take for granted when it comes to the accommodations technology provides us.

The main storyline follows a theatre group called the Traveling Symphony, which travels to some of the “towns” that have formed after the fall of society. The Symphony performs Shakespeare’s plays in what they have established as their traveling territory.

One of the towns the Symphony normally stops in is very different from how it was two years before. It appears a cult-like leader has taken charge of the town, and the graveyard has expanded substantially. The Symphony immediately leaves the town after their performance, but they have not escaped. After leaving the mysterious town, people in the Symphony begin to disappear.

Outside of the main plot, there are stories involving love, heart-break, and the struggles of establishing a career. These subplots also provoke self-re ection in terms of viewing the characters’ actions and experiences as examples that can be related to the reader’s own life.

The story is told from several different characters’ viewpoints. This story features the typical narrative that is used in novels and includes letters and interview transcripts that help tell the story.

The plot also switches time periods in the novel. Nearly half of the novel is spent telling of the world before the Georgia Flu hits.

The different viewpoints and time periods are used to tell several smaller stories that end up intertwining as the story unravels.

In “Station Eleven,” Miranda, one of the characters, is writing a comic series. The name of the comic project is also titled “Station Eleven.” The comic is about a physicist, Dr. Eleven, and his adventures as he struggles with life after Earth is taken over by aliens.

Mandel shared at the Pee Dee Fiction and Poetry Festival that she is currently working on creating a “Station Eleven” graphic novel, which will expand on the story of Dr. Eleven. She is working on writing the script for this project and has an artist who will create the graphics. As of now, she does not have a deal, but Mandel says she will be focusing more on her graphic novel after she is done touring for the “Station Eleven” novel.

The book is a relatable, relevant and stimulating novel that can be read by a variety of age groups and is likely to enthrall any reader with its depiction of a post- apocalyptic civilization.

Mandel decided that there will not be a sequel to “Station Eleven.” She believes that she said everything that she wanted to in the novel itself. However, she is playing with the idea of reusing the character of Miranda from the novel in a future book that will give further insight into Miranda’s life.