(STILLWATER, OKLAHOMA / November 2, 2021) – The Stillwater Public Library’s (SPL) tenth community reading series, “NEA Big & Little Read: Stillwater,” wraps up with a virtual visit from acclaimed author Emily St. John Mandel on Thursday, Nov. 11, at 6:30 p.m. Anyone interested can join the event online via Zoom or attend a live watch party at Oklahoma State University’s airport hangar. Registration is required.
Mandel’s book “Station Eleven” takes place in a post-apocalyptic future after a flu pandemic has dramatically altered the planet, forever changing how humans live. Many of the things that people take for granted cease to exist in Mandel’s dystopia. There’s no electricity, cell phones or internet. Museums, movie theaters, and libraries are left empty and abandoned.
“Though ‘Station Eleven’ sounds like it is going to be tragic, it’s really about survival and the endurance of the human spirit,” said Stacy DeLano, library director. “The power of stories, memory, art, and human connection is what shines through and gives the characters the strength and hope they need to push forward.”
“Station Eleven” is Mandel’s fourth novel and was a game-changer for the author. The bestselling title received several awards and nominations, winning the Arthur C. Clarke Award for science fiction and the Toronto Book Award. It was also a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the National Book Award for Fiction. Additionally, HBO is filming a limited television series based on the novel with an expected launch date sometime in December.
In 2020 Mandel released “The Glass Hotel,” which interweaves a story about financial corruption with the disappearance of a woman at sea. She also has a new book coming out this April called “Sea of Tranquility.”
Mandel’s publisher, Penguin Random House, describes her forthcoming release as “a novel of art, time, love and plague that takes the reader from Vancouver Island in 1912 to a dark colony on the moon three hundred years later, unfurling a story of humanity across centuries and space.”
Mandel will be interviewed by Cristy Morrison, the president of Visit Stillwater and co-host of TV-31’s “The Morning Edition.” The Library is currently accepting suggestions for questions to ask Mandel during the event. Recommendations can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, submitted via Facebook, or given to SPL staff in person or by phone.
Those interested in attending can tune in online from home using Zoom, or they can join a small group to watch Mandel’s interview on a big screen live at OSU’s airport hangar. Hideaway pizza and drinks will be provided at the live event courtesy of the Friends of the Stillwater Public Library. The program is free, but registration is required to participate in either format. Sign-up at library.stillwater.org/nea_big_read_stillwater.php or call the Library Help Desk at (405) 372-3633 x8106.
Nine grand prize winners will be randomly selected from the “Big Read” book discussion. Participants will get to have a short one-on-one virtual meet and greet with the author following the interview. There are still free copies of “Station Eleven” left and a few book discussions with open spots available, so it is not too late to enter the grand prize drawing.
NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment of the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. Additional funding for “NEA Big and Little Read: Stillwater” is provided by the Friends of the Stillwater Public Library, the Stillwater Public Library Trust, and the OSU Library. Use of OSU’s airport hangar for Emily St. John Mandel’s watch party is provided by the OSU Flight Center.
The Stillwater Public Library is located at 1107 S. Duck St. Library hours are Monday- Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.