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.
• Winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Toronto Book Award, and The Morning News Tournament of Books
• Finalist for a National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award
• Longlisted for the Bailey’s Prize (formerly the Orange Prize), the IMPAC Dublin Award, and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction
• A New York Times and international bestseller
• An American Library Association Notable Book
• Named best book of the year by Entertainment Weekly and BookPage
• Chosen as one of the 10 Best Books of the Year by The Washington Post, TIME Magazine, TimeOut New York, and other publications
• Named one of the best books of the year by Kirkus, The Chicago Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, O Magazine, The Huffington Post, and several other publications
• Translated into 31 languages
EMILY ST. JOHN MANDEL
Emily St. John Mandel was born in British Columbia, Canada. She is the author of four novels: Station Eleven, The Lola Quartet, Last Night in Montreal and The Singer’s Gun, which 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 and lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.
Book Club Materials:
Recipes for Your Meeting:
A post-apocalyptic book like “Station Eleven” doesn’t readily lend itself to menu ideas for a gathering. Food is not stressed in the book so much as the lack of it, and the list of foods that are referenced is a curious combination of mostly non-perishable staples and not-so-appetizing forage and forest kill: Tuna, beans, soup, pasta, frozen meat, vegetables, fruit, oranges, lemons, tea, coffee, crackers, salt, preserved cakes, squirrel-on-a-stick, rabbits, deer, rabbit jerky, dried apples, cocktail olives, fish (caught in a golf course goldfish pond), ground meat and tortilla chips and cheese with sauces splashed over it, oranges and snack mix, roasted venison, Tabasco sauce, tins of tomatoes, bags of rice, deer, boar, rabbits, bread, preserved meat, wild blueberries, scrambled eggs, grilled cheese sandwich, raspberry dark chocolate truffles (given to Tanya by Arthur in the dressing room the night he died).
Chocolate truffles, sure, but squirrel-on-a-stick? Rabbit jerky?
So, while we offer a few recipes below, you might want to consider pulling together your own dishes following one of these general themes:
Comfort foods! Go with the classics like mac ‘n’ cheese or chicken pot pie or any favorites of yours and your book club members.
No more (fill in the blank). Build a menu around all the foods you would miss most if the food production and distribution system fell completely apart. (Like the fruit salad here.)
Final feast: Ask your book club members to bring a dish that would be a must component of their “last meal on earth” (or final feast before the pandemic). As an additional exercise, have each member bring a copy of the recipe and highlight ingredients that would be impossible to find if the world collapsed. Talk about those ingredients and how their absence would impact a person’s diet.
You vs. pandemic: Cook up a big pot of flu-fighting chicken soup and do your part to keep everyone healthy.
Plan a Shakespearean menu.
Or prepare survivalists’ pantry concoctions, such as the soup, tuna burgers, rice pudding and fruit compote here, which use only shelf-stable foods and nothing fresh.
Finally, to set the mood, have symphony music playing in the background, and eat by candlelight in recognition of the only lighting that would be available in a “Station Eleven” world. And you can never go wrong with raspberry dark chocolate truffles.
ESSAY CONTEST THEME: “What would you miss most if modern-day civilization collapsed?”
In Station Eleven and City of Ember (our middle reader selection), a small group of survivors is coping with a world that’s very different from the one we know today. This year’s challenge was to write an essay about what you would miss most in a similar situation.
Congratulations to our winners! Click on the title to read the essay.
First prize: Carol Banach – Lacking Human Interaction
Second prize: Christina Piel – Security Blanket
High School Category:
First prize: Madison Sveum – Disconnect
Middle School Category:
First prize: Annabelle Wilson – What I Would Miss…
Elementary Category (Grades 3-5):
First prize: Liliana Torres – The City of Ember
Second prize: Jack Sill – What It Would Be Like
Honorable Mention: Reda Fensin, Winter Hamilton, Cate Carney, Evelyn Etter and Oliver Deutsch
VISUAL ARTS CONTEST
This year’s entries were inspired by Station Eleven or City of Ember, and one or more of these themes:
a catastrophe • a safe place • resilience • teamwork •
survival is insufficient • a legacy • illumination • hope • rebirth
Congratulations to these winners!
First place: Laurie Hushek – “In the Distance”
Second place: Jill Mickey – “A Danish Legacy”
Elementary Category (Grades 3-5):
First place: Elyse Ost – “City Alight”
Second place: Jason Dineen – “Hope”
You’ll find resources at MeaningfulMarks.net and in the PDF below: