Chapter 13

Fourteen years before the collapse, Arthur Leander sits in a restaurant with Miranda, where they are photographed by a journalist outside. 

Arthur was born on Delano Island, a small, beautiful island in Canada, and though he loved it there, he was determined to leave it behind as it felt too claustrophobic. At college in Toronto, he discovers that he likes acting, and during acting classes, Arthur meets Clark Thompson, who becomes his best friend. Arthur moves to New York and then Los Angeles, playing minor roles and slowly becoming more successful. Arthur moves back to Toronto to film a movie. His mother calls to tell him that Miranda, a 17-year-old woman from his hometown, is also in Toronto, and suggests that he take her to lunch. They get along well, and Arthur thinks that she is beautiful, but also that she is too young for him. Over the next seven years, he becomes more famous and dates other women, mostly actresses. When Miranda is 24 years old, Arthur calls her again.

Chapter 14

Miranda works for a shipping company, Neptune Logistics, as the administrative assistant to a young executive. Miranda is in a deteriorating and abusive relationship with Pablo, an artist who has difficulty selling his paintings. She doesn’t mind that Pablo’s lack of success means she has to work because she actually likes her corporate job. Miranda is also working on a comic book series, Dr. Eleven. Pablo calls her at work and starts a fight over her long work hours, but she reminds him that she pays all of the rent. When Arthur Leander calls her and asks her to lunch, she suggests dinner instead. She does not tell Pablo and ignores Pablo’s texts. 

Miranda stays with Arthur in his hotel room and is pleased when Pablo texts to tell her not to bother coming home. The next morning, she goes to her apartment and packs two suitcases, feeling slightly guilty about sleeping with Arthur while still living with Pablo. She stays at the hotel with Arthur again and tells him that she will get the remainder of her belongings the next day.

Chapter 15

Arthur and Miranda celebrate their third wedding anniversary with a dinner party at their house in the Hollywood Hills. Miranda feels disconnected from the guests since all of them are involved in the film industry. Tired of the conversation and the people, Miranda excuses herself from the table to go outside with her dog. She can hear Arthur telling the dinner guests how he and Miranda started dating, but he leaves out Pablo and the fact that she had a bruise on her face when she arrived at the hotel on the second night. Noticing the flirtation between Arthur and one of the guests, Elizabeth Colton, Miranda thinks that “it’s been too late for a while.”

Elizabeth passes out on the couch after the other guests leave. Miranda walks out of the house at 3AM and approaches the paparazzi across the street. She asks one of them, a man named Jeevan, for a cigarette. They have a friendly conversation, but he takes her picture while her guard is down. She worries about the tabloid headline and walks back inside the house. She goes to Arthur’s study and finds the glass paperweight that Clark gave him that evening. She also sees the first few lines of an unfinished letter that Arthur has written to “V.” Miranda plans to keep the paperweight. 

Miranda works on Dr. Eleven, incorporating various elements of her life into the story, like her dog, Luli. She considers returning to Neptune Logistics. When Elizabeth knocks on the door of her study, Miranda realizes that her relationship with Arthur is over. Elizabeth apologizes and starts crying. In a few months, Miranda and Arthur are divorced and Elizabeth has moved in with Arthur. Miranda uses the divorce settlement to buy fancy clothes and obtain a commerce degree. She goes back to Neptune Logistics and is quickly promoted. She spends her time traveling the world for work and adding more Station Eleven stories to Dr. Eleven.

Chapter 16

Fifteen years after the collapse, François Diallo, a librarian in the town of New Petoskey, interviews Kirsten. Kirsten asks Diallo if he has ever seen any issues of Dr. Eleven. He has not, and asks how Kirsten obtained them. She tells him that Arthur Leander gave them to her.

Chapter 17

A year before the collapse, Clark meets Arthur in a restaurant in London. Arthur has recently divorced Elizabeth. He and Clark talk, but Clark notices that people in the restaurant are listening and recording Arthur on their phones. When Clark realizes that Arthur is more interested in performing for the crowd than having dinner with a friend, Clark leaves in disgust.

Chapter 18

This chapter contains a transcript of Diallo’s interview with Kirsten. Kirsten tells Diallo that before the collapse, she was an actress. After the collapse, she and her brother left Toronto and went to Ohio. Her brother died, and she was found by the Traveling Symphony when she was fourteen. Kirsten describes the restricted route of the Traveling Symphony; they can only travel to certain places, because many towns are violent or run by cults.


Miranda’s life is immersed in the blurred reality of the Station Eleven graphic novel. Pablo is upset that Miranda lives half of her life in it, suggesting that working on the novel is a way for her to escape the claustrophobia of her bad relationship. This illustrates the positive aspect to losing oneself in art. Because Miranda half lives in Station Eleven, she is able to walk out of her abusive, unsatisfying relationship. This blurred line also helps Miranda when her marriage first starts to crumble. When Miranda stands outside her house examining her life, the image of the diorama and of the two moons reflecting in the pool create a sense of unreality. This sense of unreality is deepened when Miranda reflects that the life that is ending was never hers to begin with. It is as though her whole life is the set of a play that she is about to step out of, and this unreality makes it a bit easier for her to begin a new life that feels like her own. Art and creation serve as imaginative ways to tolerate and survive impossible situations.

This section explores the way the Station Eleven graphic novel attempts to understand grief through art. Miranda draws the characters of the Undersea as she’s leaving her abusive boyfriend for Arthur, and both Miranda and the inhabitants of the Undersea feel trapped as they wait for their lives to begin. Later, Miranda also works on the graphic novel as her marriage is crumbling, and her grief comes out through her characters. As Miranda grieves the loss of the world she built with Arthur, her characters mourn the loss of life on Earth. After the collapse, when Kirsten reads Station Eleven, she identifies with the main characters. Just as Kirsten spends her life travelling through the broken world after the pandemic, the characters in her graphic novel live in a wandering world of their space station, forever traveling through space. Both Dr. Eleven and Kirsten forget much of the sweetness of life before tragedy as a way to cope with their tremendous losses. The Station Eleven graphic novel illustrates that art is a way for both the creator and the audience to deal with painful emotions and tremendous loss.

Many of the characters struggle in these chapters as they falter between immersing themselves in their work and sleepwalking through life. Work takes on a complex role in the world before the collapse. Miranda, an artist, unexpectedly finds comfort in her day job, which convention tells her she should loathe. She finds calmness and satisfaction both from her art and from her work at the shipping company, which ends up sustaining her and creating meaning for her life before and after Arthur. Jeevan, however, explores the darker side of work in his role as a paparazzo. He is bitter when he reflects with Miranda on his work and goes so far as to say that work is combat. He takes an unflattering picture of Miranda in her moment of despair, perhaps out of this sense of needing to fight to the metaphorical death to survive. At this point in the story, Jeevan betrays himself and others for his work, and he is in a sense sleepwalking through life unhappily and striving for mere survival. Their different relationships with work in these chapters illustrate that work can either create a sense of existential despair or be a source of energy and meaning.