Emily St. John Mandel

St. John's my middle name. The books go under M.

Oct 18
Station Eleven is a finalist for a National Book Award. The tour has reached the Canadian Rockies. In a bistro, drinking tea, watching snowstorms come and go across distant peaks, missing home, exhausted and so happy.

Station Eleven is a finalist for a National Book Award. The tour has reached the Canadian Rockies. In a bistro, drinking tea, watching snowstorms come and go across distant peaks, missing home, exhausted and so happy.


Oct 17

Great Hotel Sofas of the Station Eleven Tour:

Left: James Bay Inn, Victoria, British Columbia. (Not actually a tour stop. I had four days to kill between festivals.)

Right: The Pfister Hotel, Milwaukee. I thought of my dear friend L.C. every time I walked by the Milwaukee sofa, because it seemed like the kind of elegant stylish thing that naturally belongs in her living room.


Oct 11

A struggling cardboard art guy and an upholstery dog, both in London last week. Now the tour’s on another continent—I’m in Nashville tonight—but I keep thinking about these two, the upholstery dog in particular. Those little wooden feet.

There were collectors and dealers at all of my UK events, which wasn’t something I’d seen much of before. They showed up with six or eight or twelve copies, wrapped in plastic. They wanted them signed, dated, placed—London, Stratford Upon Avon, Lincoln, Ely—and lined. The lines I wrote in their books:

1. The king stood in a pool of blue light, unmoored.
2. Because survival is insufficient.
3. I stood looking over my damaged home and tried to forget the sweetness of life on earth.
4. No more avatars.
5. This silent landscape.


Oct 10
The airport in Jackson, Mississippi, 6am. En route to Nashville. This is a colour photograph. This airport’s so ugly that it’s almost beautiful.

The airport in Jackson, Mississippi, 6am. En route to Nashville. This is a colour photograph. This airport’s so ugly that it’s almost beautiful.


Oct 5
jennirl:

aaaaaaahhh Virginia Woolf called out a hater in the acknowledgements of Orlando

Before the advent of the Helpfully Correcting Email—from the concerned reader who loved your book but would just like to take a moment to point out this one little thing that it’s much too late to do anything about because the thing’s already gone to press—there was the Helpfully Correcting Letter.

jennirl:

aaaaaaahhh Virginia Woolf called out a hater in the acknowledgements of Orlando

Before the advent of the Helpfully Correcting Email—from the concerned reader who loved your book but would just like to take a moment to point out this one little thing that it’s much too late to do anything about because the thing’s already gone to press—there was the Helpfully Correcting Letter.


Oct 4
This week in London has passed so quickly. I’ve been on tour for three weeks and have started dreaming of hotel corridors. I’ve been behind on email since I arrived here, because wifi access has been spotty and because of the schedule—I am always being whisked away in cars—and it’s been pleasant, actually, not being online much this week and being only minimally present on social media, although I feel bad about taking too long to respond to emails these days. I had the day off today, so we wandered to Notting Hill in the rain. 

Watched ducks diving in the Hyde Park fountains, slightly grungy-looking swans in the pool below. The suspicion that Portobello Road would be one of my favourite places on earth if it weren’t for the hordes of tourists. Station Eleven debuted at #20 on the New York Times bestseller list. 

A question people here keep asking: “You’ll have a nice holiday, I hope, after you return home from London?” No, I tell them, but it’s okay because I love my job, and I’m tired but not too tired for the tour. The tour has swept me up. The tour keeps strange hours. The tour requires large amounts of vitamin C and Purell. It is ten p.m. on a rainy Saturday night in London and I’m waiting for the car that will take me to the BBC.

The picture, above, is my wonderful UK publisher’s corporate lobby. All of the events here have been good, but the best thing about London was meeting the people at Picador.

This week in London has passed so quickly. I’ve been on tour for three weeks and have started dreaming of hotel corridors. I’ve been behind on email since I arrived here, because wifi access has been spotty and because of the schedule—I am always being whisked away in cars—and it’s been pleasant, actually, not being online much this week and being only minimally present on social media, although I feel bad about taking too long to respond to emails these days. I had the day off today, so we wandered to Notting Hill in the rain.

Watched ducks diving in the Hyde Park fountains, slightly grungy-looking swans in the pool below. The suspicion that Portobello Road would be one of my favourite places on earth if it weren’t for the hordes of tourists. Station Eleven debuted at #20 on the New York Times bestseller list.

A question people here keep asking: “You’ll have a nice holiday, I hope, after you return home from London?” No, I tell them, but it’s okay because I love my job, and I’m tired but not too tired for the tour. The tour has swept me up. The tour keeps strange hours. The tour requires large amounts of vitamin C and Purell. It is ten p.m. on a rainy Saturday night in London and I’m waiting for the car that will take me to the BBC.

The picture, above, is my wonderful UK publisher’s corporate lobby. All of the events here have been good, but the best thing about London was meeting the people at Picador.


Sep 23
Last night in Milwaukee: a collaborative reading/performance at Boswell Books. Shakespearean actors performed the scene from Lear that opens the book; I picked up at the line where the actor dies and read for a while, they dramatized the book’s interview sections—the shock and joy of hearing your text brought to life—we closed with a chapter where I read and they said lines from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I’ve never done a more thrilling event. These weeks of strange new things.

"What does it feel like?" the sales rep asked when he picked me up at the Milwaukee airport the other day, asking about the National Book Award longlist. I don’t know. It’s wonderful. It doesn’t always seem quite real. It makes me very happy and also I’m aware at all times they could just as easily have picked an entirely different set of ten books for the fiction long list. This stuff’s crazily subjective.

Above: the art museum, not far from my hotel. I walked there yesterday with a few hours to kill between a radio interview and the Boswell event. It was closed when I visited, but beautiful to look through it at the lake on the other side.

Last night in Milwaukee: a collaborative reading/performance at Boswell Books. Shakespearean actors performed the scene from Lear that opens the book; I picked up at the line where the actor dies and read for a while, they dramatized the book’s interview sections—the shock and joy of hearing your text brought to life—we closed with a chapter where I read and they said lines from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I’ve never done a more thrilling event. These weeks of strange new things.

"What does it feel like?" the sales rep asked when he picked me up at the Milwaukee airport the other day, asking about the National Book Award longlist. I don’t know. It’s wonderful. It doesn’t always seem quite real. It makes me very happy and also I’m aware at all times they could just as easily have picked an entirely different set of ten books for the fiction long list. This stuff’s crazily subjective.

Above: the art museum, not far from my hotel. I walked there yesterday with a few hours to kill between a radio interview and the Boswell event. It was closed when I visited, but beautiful to look through it at the lake on the other side.


Sep 21
“Publishers are like, ‘We don’t know who your market is, we don’t know who we’d sell your book to,’ and I’m like, ‘What do you mean? Like… People with reading skills?’” Roxane Gay, talking about writers of color at the “This Woman’s Work” panel at the 2014 Brooklyn Book Festival (via yeahwriters)

(via roxanegay)


Sep 19
The baggage claim at Pellston Airport is really quite serious. The stuffed elk are over by the waiting area.

The baggage claim at Pellston Airport is really quite serious. The stuffed elk are over by the waiting area.


Hood ornaments in Traverse City, September 17 2014. It was a perfect fall day, a few hours before I found out about the National Book Award nomination, and the utterly lovely proprietors of Brilliant Books took me sightseeing. There were beautiful old cars all over town.


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