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What happens when a killer flu sweeps across the globe? A visiting author imagines the unimaginable.

Emily St. John Mandel, author of the award-winning novel Station Eleven, will visit the Shorewood Library on Apr. 10 for the culminating event of Shorewood Reads 2018 – a community-wide, multi-month book club hosted by the local library.

The poster for Shorewood Reads 2018 features author Emily St. John Mandel. Courtesy of Shorewood Reads.

Station Eleven explores the exploits of the Traveling Symphony, a troupe of musicians and actors eking out an existence along the Great Lakes, attempting to preserve art and culture after a deadly pandemic wipes out most of the world’s population. “I was interested in writing about what it means to devote your life to art – the clashes and the joys of that,” Mandel says.

“It’s a pretty dynamic book, and there are a lot of things going on that we could use to pull the community together,” says Haley Johnson, Shorewood Library’s community and adult services librarian. She and the rest of the Shorewood Reads team have been hosting book-related events – like a visit from a traveling Shakespearean troupe and an “end of the world game night” – since January.

During Mandel’s Apr. 10 visit, she will be hosting a 10 a.m. writing workshop alongside Milwaukee author Lauren Fox in the Shorewood Public Library. And at 7 p.m., she will discuss her novel in a conversation moderated by Daniel Goldin of Boswell Book Company, at the Shorewood Village Center.

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