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Emily St. John Mandel, author of this year’s Life of the Mind book, Station Eleven, will speak on campus at 5:30 p.m. Monday, November 13.

Emily St. John Mandel
Emily St. John Mandel

Her talk will be held in Cox Auditorium in Alumni Memorial Building. The event is free and open to the public with a book signing to follow.

UT’s First-Year Studies, which oversees the Life of the Mind common reading program for freshmen, is partnering with the Knox County Public Library to encourage people throughout the area to read Station Eleven during this year’s National Endowment of the Arts Big Read program.

Discussion groups and other activities related to the book will be held across town leading up to the author’s visit. For a detailed schedule of local Big Read events, visit the First-Year Studies website.

An award-winning international best seller, Station Eleven is a post-apocalyptic novel published in 2014. It tells the story of a small band of actors and musicians 20 years after a flu pandemic has wiped out most of the earth’s population.

The book highlights the fragility of human existence, people’s violent nature, and humanity’s capacity to survive amid widespread starvation, loneliness, and chaos. At the same time, it describes a world of hope, of people coping with nostalgia and loss in both the present and the future, and it illustrates how art and relationships can help people not just survive, but thrive.


Heather Davis, UT First Year Studies, (865-974-3523,