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Art After Chaos: A New Perspective In A Post-Apocalyptic Novel


  Editor's note: This interview originally aired on Sept. 23, 2014

The vision of the end of civilization in Emily St. John Mandel’s new novel would be chilling enough – a fast-moving plague from overseas wipes out nearly everyone it touches – even without the real-life Ebola outbreak killing people in Africa.

Her novel, Station Eleven, jumps back and forth between the time leading up to the deadly flu outbreak, and the time after, in which as much as 99 percent of the population is killed.

It’s from the remaining one percent that a traveling music and theater troupe emerges, and journeys to the small outposts left in the Great Lakes region.

Emily St. John Mandel joined Lake Effect’s Mitch Teich in the studio to share more about her post-apocalyptic novel.

“Even if we lost everything that we take for granted, if all trappings of civilization were to fall away, I think we would be left with everything that matters," St. John Mandel says. "You know, family, friendship, love, these things that would hopefully survive."

Emily St. John Mandel's previous books include Last Night in Montreal and The Lola Quartet.
Her novel Station Eleven, has reached many more people in recent days, thanks to its inclusion as a “Big Read” book through the National Endowment for the Arts.  Station Eleven is also the 2019 Tosa All-City Read and Mandel will be talking with Lake Effect's Mitch Teich about the book Sunday afternoon at the Celtic MKE Center on Wauwatosa Avenue. You can find out more information here.

Audrey Nowakowski hosts and produces Lake Effect. She joined WUWM in 2014.