Posted by: Through the Eyes of Women | January 5, 2015

January 5, 2015 Host Kathleen Marshall Speaks With Scotiabank-Giller Prize-Winning Author Johanna Skibsrud About Her New Book: Quartet for the End of Time

Johanna SkidsrubJohanna Skibsrud was born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada.  She received her Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University of Toronto and her Master’s and Doctorate Degrees from the University of Montreal.  In 2010 she was the youngest recipient ever to be awarded Canada’s most prestigious literary prize, the Scotiabank-Giller.  She currently lives in Tuscon,  Arizona, and teaches literature at the University of Arizona in Tuscon.

Her new book, Quartet for the End of Time, is a novel of history, more specifically of the time between 1932 and the end of World War II.  In writing the novel she found inspiration in the musical work of Oscar Messiaen, particularly in his piece, also entitled Quartet for the End of Time, which was written whileQuartet for the End of Time Messiaen was a prisoner in a German war camp.  Like Messiaen’s Quartet,  Johanna’s has four main instruments or characters.  They each are composed of eight chapters, including an interlude which for Johanna is visual rather than a musical interlude.  Messiaen also appears as a character.

The novel begins with the 1932 Bonus Army march on Washington in which veteran’s of World War I demand payment of the bonus promised them in 1918.  As the novel progresses we follow her main characters through their struggles with a sense of responsibility for the disappearance of one of their own.

To learn more about Johanna Skibsrud go to her website

To listen to and/or download Kathleen’s conversation with Johanna Sikbsrud click the following link:     1-5-2015 Kathleen_Johanna Skibsrud

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