William Woods University faculty and staff have planned a number of activities during September in conjunction with the Daniel Boone Regional Library’s One Read program. This year’s book, chosen by a public vote, is “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel. The book has been described as “a postapocalyptic page-turner.”
One Read, now in its 14th year, is a community-wide reading program that encourages adults of all ages to read one book and participate in thought-provoking discussion and activities. All events are free and open to the public.
A National Book Award Finalist and a PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist, “Station Eleven” is a lyrically written examination of the importance of art and what it means to be human.
Twenty years after a deadly flu outbreak kills most of the world’s population, what
survives? What matters? This haunting novel begins with the on-stage death of a famous actor during his performance of King Lear, which coincides with the beginning of the pandemic. The narrative moves back and forth between the actor’s younger life and 20 years after his death, weaving the stories of a handful of people connected to him – some closely, like his ex-wife, and some by the smallest thread, like the EMT who attempted to save his life.
The author, Emily St. John Mandel, was born and raised on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. She studied
contemporary dance at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre and lived briefly in Montreal before relocating to New York.
She is the author of four novels, and a staff writer for online magazine The Millions. She lives in New York City with her husband.
Following is a list of One Read activities planned at William Woods University. All events take place in the Library Auditorium.
Sept. 3 at 6 p.m.
Greg Smith, film and discussion, “The Giver”
Based on Lois Lowry’s iconic and influential Newbery Award-winning young adult science fiction novel of the same title, visionary director Phillip Noyce’s 2014 film “The Giver” (PG-13) explores weighty and provocative themes similar to those foregrounded in “Station Eleven.” Following the film, students interested in earning 1 LEAD point are required to compose brief written responses examining the film’s genre conventions and thematic focuses.
Sept. 8 at 6 p.m.
Nick Pullen, “The Biology of Civilization’s End”
Nick Pullen, Cox Distinguished Professor of Science, will discuss epidemics and viruses, post-apocalypse, as experienced by the characters in the One Read book, “Station Eleven.”
Sept. 10 at 7 p.m.
One Read Author’s Talk: Emily St. John Mandel
One Read author Emily St. John Mandel steps up to the podium to talk about “Station Eleven.” Her presentation at Columbia College will be broadcast live to WWU.
Sept. 14 at 4 p.m.
Matt Dube, “Station Eleven” and other lost graphic novel classics
The two issues of the pre-Georgia Flu comic series “Station Eleven” are the novel’s protagonist Kirsten’s favorite things in the world. This imaginary comic series has a whole lot of real world analogues: learn about other famous and famously unfinished comic series.
Sept. 16 at 7 p.m.
Erik Hillskemper, Survival is insufficient: preserving art in the apocalypse
He will discuss the importance of art and literature and investigate why humans are compelled to create and enjoy art of all kinds. Talking points will be drawn from “Station Eleven” and Shakespeare, among other sources. Audience participation is welcome.
Sept. 21 at 4 p.m.
Terry Martin, Art is Life
Terry Martin believes life can be a masterpiece because of human relationships one creates. He will share his spiritual journey, using slides to demonstrate his belief that artful living is a process that should unify material and spiritual aspects of the human experience. Since he began teaching at WWU in 1988, he says he has discovered, because of many wonderful students, that the essence of education is teacher and student learning together.
Sept. 24 at 6:30 p.m.
Matt Dube and Anthony Cavaiani—What Makes a Museum?
In Emily St John Mandel’s novel “Station Eleven,” the Museum of Civilization tells the story of the world from what people have left behind. Come to this event to explore the way real museums curate history, and also to see what story you’d be able to tell with the objects you carry with you every day.
Sept. 30 at 4 p.m.
Betsy Tutt – Survival is Insufficient: Toward Another World Just Out of Sight
This interactive session will emphasize the various themes represented in “Station Eleven” through a reader’s theatre presentation by education professor Dr. Betsy Tutt and some of her William Woods University students.
For more information about One Read and the programs scheduled at William Woods University, contact Mary Ann Beahon, director of university relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org.