Station Eleven, Emily St John Mandel
The apocalyptic pandemic novel everyone has read and loved. Who knows what took me so long, but far stranger are the droves of people who chose to read this during Covid.
Emily St John Mandel spins beauty out of disaster in Station Eleven, drawing out what it means to be human amid a terrifying dearth of humanity, like panning for gold in a silty swamp.
The years click by following a virus that wiped out most of the world’s population, along with power and technology, and St John Mandel follows her small cast as they cheat death, just about keep the faith, and follow the clues to survival.
Given the depressing subject, it is a marvel that St John Mandel cooks up something so touching, but what really stands out for me is the structure. It’s not clever show-offy, but clever in a seamless way, with structure fitting the story like a couture gown, as it should.