Emily St. John Mandel “What Tiny Thing That You do Makes A Difference?”

Becca Anderson, author of The Book of Awesome Women Writers, has written a new blog post on the life of author Emily St. John Mandel.

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Picture from: http://www.vipjackson.com/feed/2017/8/16/a-conversation-with-emily-st-john-mandel

Emily St. John Mandel is a Canadian-born author of “literary noir” works, and more recently, a prizewinning science fiction novel, Station Eleven. The daughter of a social worker and a plumber, she was born and raised on Denman Island off the coast of British Columbia. At eighteen, Emily quit school to study contemporary dance at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre. In an interesting twist of fate, after picking up a free newspaper in Toronto and corresponding with the writer of one of its book reviews, she ended up meeting her future husband, writer Kevin Mandel. While briefly living in Montreal, she refocused her creative goals from dance to literature and began writing her first novel, Last Night in Montreal (2009). Its plot was in part inspired by her own rootlessness as she moved around, returning to Toronto before moving to New York City. She now lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter. She followed up her debut work with The Singer’s Gun (2010) and The Lola Quartet (2012); though they may be described as suspense thrillers, their narratives cross genre lines.

Mandel hit pay dirt with 2014’s Station Eleven, which was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award; in 2015, it won the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the Toronto Book Award. The novel is set in the near future in a post-apocalyptic version of the Great Lakes region and follows members of a Shakespearian acting troupe as a fictional swine-flu pandemic unfolds. A television series adaptation of Station Eleven is currently in development. As of this writing, her fifth novel, The Glass Hotel, is expected to be released in 2020; it shares a couple of characters with her acclaimed work Station Eleven but is set in the late twentieth century.


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