by Campbell Geeslin
Emily St. John Mandel’s new novel is Station Eleven. She is 35 years old, has published three earlier novels, and lives in Brooklyn.
Mandel told The New York Times, “When I started writing, there were a few post-apocalyptic novels, but not quite the incredible glut there is now. I was afraid the market might be saturated.”
It wasn’t. Knopf bought Station Eleven with a six-figure advance. That was more than Mandel earned for all three earlier novels.
Times interviewer Alexandra Alter said, “Some trace the current literary fascination with the end of civilization to The Road, Cormac McCarthy’s 2006 novel, which became a bestseller and won the Pulitzer.”
Mandel said, “It’s almost as if The Road gave more literary writers permission to approach the subject.”
In the September 14 Times Book Review, the reviewer of Station Eleven, Sigrid Nunez, wrote that the book “offers comfort and hope to those who believe or want to believe that doomsday can be survived, that in spite of everything, that people will remain good at heart, and that when they start building a new world they will want what was best about the old.”