If You Liked Station Eleven

One of my favorite books of all time is Station Eleven, a complex, beautifully written novel about what it means to make art in dark and dangerous times. It tells the story of the Travelling Symphony, a group of musicians and actors touring their shows through a post-apocalyptic, post-pandemic world. Rather than merely scrabbling for survival in a harsh world they choose to find beauty, joy and meaning where they can. In our pandemic times, this story is more relevant than ever and the recent HBO adaptation is a great reason to revisit this book or check it out for the first time. Here are a few similar titles you might also enjoy.

Sarah Pinsker's A Song for A New Day was published in mid-2019 but feels like it could be a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a not too distant future, all large public gatherings have been banned after a wave of deadly contagion and terror attacks made them far too risky. Now all concerts are attended in VR, but something about them feels hollow. Below the radar is a thriving underground concert scene where people reconnect in real space and remember why they loved music in the first place.

Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Road is the darker, more brutal version of life after the apocalypse. A father and son walk their way across an America that has completely collapsed. While they witness many moments of true horror and the cruelty of other humans, they never lose hope entirely. Their love for each other keeps them strong in a situation where many would simply give up.

Meet Me in Another Life isn't a post-apocalyptic story, but, like Station Eleven, it's about people building meaningful lives and connections in circumstances beyond their control. Thora and Santi seem fated to be together. They have an instant connection and click on every level as soon as they meet. Unfortunately, tragic circumstances conspire to keep them apart. Fortunately, they get to try again, and again, and again. Groundhog Day-style, they live hundreds of lives and in every one, they seem to find each other. Now it's up to them to discover what they mean to each other and why this is happening to them.

Have you checked out the Station Eleven show? What did you think?