The book opens with a scene in which famous actor Arthur Leander dies during a performance of King Lear. By the end of the week, most of world's population will be dead from the pandemic Georgia flu. Fifteen years later, a troupe of traveling actors and musicians organizes under the motto "survival is insufficient." Meaning, that even if a rare strain of flu has wiped out 99.99% of the world's population, those who survive-and just barely at that-still need to create and witness art. The troupe sets out to perform live Shakespeare in villages and outposts around Toronto, setting into motion a collision of two very different groups of people. Station Eleven is a haunting story that speaks to the survival of devastation, our ephemeral existence and the endurance of art. It's a well-written book that reminds us to appreciate the wonder of modern life, as much as it reminds us to appreciate the literature that connects humans across generations.
"An audacious, darkly glittering novel about art, fame, and ambition set in the eerie days of civilization's collapse, from the author of three highly acclaimed previous novels. One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time-from the actor's early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as the Traveling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains-this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor's first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the TravelingSymphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet. Sometimes terrifying, sometimes tender, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it"--