So if you're following along with our Station Eleven book club, then you know that we're working our way through the second 1/4 of the book and that means that ideally, you're halfway now (at least.)
nobleknits2mrslyonslibrary and I created this podcast as we jump right into the second quarter of Emily St. John Mandel’s novel Station Eleven. In this episode we unpack some of the themes that are emerging and we are particularly drawn to Mandel’s use of memory and time with multiple narrators and also a non-linear timeline.
We start to explore the abandoned places that are explored in the novel, and the technology objects that are left behind. We talk about Ai Weiwei’s work as a protest against Chinese nationalist policies and how he plays with value of objects, the same way Mandel is. We talk a lot about how children and families fit into the pandemic and the conditions that we’re experiencing, that are emphasized in the novel.
We talk about the power of cultural artifacts to transform us back to moments of impact where we were called to action or to think in a different way.
Welcome to our next media level with our podcast Read Into This! This podcast has been our pet pandemic project and we hope to keep adding content as we explore everything about reading, learning, leading and so much more. I thought it would be the perfect time to best it out in TeachOntario in conjunction with our Station Eleven book club. It's not too late to get involved. We are hosted by VoicEd.ca and sponsored by Canadian School Libraries and our intention is to grow the network of like-minded educators across Canada.
My co-hosts Lisa Noble nobleknits2 and Beth Lyons mrslyonslibrary and I dive into the first quarter of Emily St. John Mandel’s novel Station Eleven navigating the wicked discomfort, and juicy details about survival and finding civilization, or at least meaning, in a pandemic. We talk about our own intentions and survival strategies during the pandemic compared to the characters’ choices in the book. We also wonder about the meaning of using Shakespeare’s King Lear as the opening scene and recurring theme in the book…..what does it all mean? We discuss at length how there are a surprising lack of grocery stores in this novel as the infrastructure disintegrates.
Author Emily St. John Mandel may not have known she was predicting the pandemic when she first released her book “Station Eleven” in 2014, but here in the midst of our new reality, the nuances in her dystopian novel have refreshed resonance in 2020. Unlike most dystopias, there is a thread of optimism in this novel as the society gets a re-do and with virtually nothing, rebuilds with a focus on community, artistic expression while staving off new threats to their utopia.
Whether you’re looking for great Canadian reads for your classroom, or something to read on the patio, the TeachOntario Station Eleven book club can help! Network with other readers and educators this summer on TeachOntario. I'll be your host to keep the conversation going.
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