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

Apr 3, 2018

St. John Mandel's post-apocalyptic novel follows characters in a theater troupe before and after the planet's population was decimated by sickness.

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."

*This interview originally aired on 09/23/14

Emily St. John Mandel's previous books include Last Night in Montreal and The Lola Quartet.
Her novel Station Eleven, is this year’s Shorewood Reads selection, and she will be in town for events linked to it, including next Tuesday at the Shorewood Public Library.