In Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, most of humanity has succumbed to a wicked strain of influenza. This strain kills people within days if not hours. Some people who have been isolated or possess immunity survive. The story is told from several viewpoints and time periods. All the main characters intersect in some way with one Arthur Leander, a famous actor, who dies suddenly of heart failure on the stage while performing King Lear several weeks before the epidemic breaks out. Mandel tells us some of Arthur’s story, before the epidemic, and the stories of two others who were present the night of his death.