Sound Fiction on Arizona Spotlight, NPR

Music and books are usually parallel styles of expression, not often combined. Author Johanna Skibsrud knew that challenges awaited when she decided to use French composer Olivier Messiean's Quartet for the End of Time as the basis for a novel. 

The original music was written on scraps of paper in 1941, while Messiaen was being held in a German prisoner-of-war camp. Its debut performance was held in the camp's yard, in the rain, for an assembly of prisoners and guards. 

Skibsrud embraced the music's tragic origins, but decided there was another story she wanted to tell...