Music in Fiction

"At the piano, scales, arpeggios
And chords, the morning exercises,
The afternoon's reading, the night's reflection,
That's how to produce a virtuoso."
Wallace Stevens

Writing about any of the fine arts — music, drama, painting, sculpture, etc. — requires the writer to attempt to capture in words those things that are created without words. The writers listed below have all tried to give the reader a glance into the lives of people who make music — rock musicians, classical musicians, composers, and music students, both professionals and amateurs. In the best fiction about music, the author allows the reader a sense of what playing music means to those who do it, and how the gift for music drives the life of the musician. The following titles may be found in the fiction collection, arranged by the author's last name. If you need help locating any of these titles, please ask at the Reference Desk.

Alexie, Sherman — Reservation Blues
Allen, Charlotte Vale — Sweeter Music
Arvin, Reed — Wind in the Wheat
Campbell, Bebe Moore — Singing in the Comeback Choir
Card, Orson Scott — Songmaster
Colwin, Laurie — Goodbye Without Leaving
Davies, Robertson — The Lyre of Orpheus; A Mixture of Frailties
De Bernieres, Louis — Corelli's Mandolin
Dubus, Andre — Bluesman
Du Maurier, George — Trilby
Gregory, Philippa — Fallen Skies
Grumbach, Doris — Chamber Music
Gutcheon, Beth — Saying Grace
Hassler, Jon — Rookery Blues
Higgins, Jack — Solo
Hijuelos, Oscar — The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love
Hood, Ann — Three-legged Horse
Hornby, Nick — High Fidelity
Huston, Paula — Daughters of Song
Ishiguro, Kazuo — The Unconsoled
Jackson, Sheneska — Caught Up in the Rapture
Jenkins, Dan — Baja Oklahoma
Lackey, Mercedes — The Eagle and the Nightingales (Bardic Voices series)
L'Engle, Madeleine — The Small Rain
MacLaverty, Bernard — Grace Notes
Major, Clarence — Dirty Bird Blues
Mann, Thomas — Doctor Faustus: The Life of the German Composer
Mason, Richard — The Drowning People
Maurensig, Paolo — Canone Inverso
McKinnon, K.C. — Dancing at the Harvest Moon
Modesitt, L.E. — The Soprano Sorceress
Mortman, Doris — The Wild Rose
Mosley, Walter — RL's Dream
Pearson, Diane — Voices of Summer
Perrotta, Tom — The Wishbones
Pratchett, Terry — Soul Music
Proulx, Annie — Accordion Crimes
Rice, Anne — Cry to Heaven; Violin
Salzman, Mark — The Soloist
Schneider, Bart — Blue Bossa
Schneider, Robert — The Brother of Sleep
Seth, Vikram — An Equal Music
Sheepshanks, Mary — Facing the Music
Smith, Lee — Devil's Dream
Spencer, LaVyrle — Small Town Girl
Starer, Robert — The Music Teacher
Stewart, Fred Mustard — Mephisto Waltz
Thoene, Bodie — The Zion Covenant series, beginning with Vienna Prelude
Trollope, Joanna — The Choir
Waitman, Katie — The Merro Tree
Wharton, William — Last Lovers


Beck, K.K. — We Interrupt this Broadcast
Frommer, Sara — Murder in C Major
Gardner, John — Maestro
Gilpatrick, Noreen — Piano Man
Goldsborough, Robert — Murder in E Minor
Gollin, James — The Verona Passamezzo; Broken Consort; The Philomel Foundation
Harrod-Eagles, Cynthia — Grave Music; Blood Lines
Kallen, Lucille — C.B. Greenfield: the Piano Bird
Kijewski, Karen — Honky Tonk Kat
Leon, Donna — Acqua Alta; Death at La Fenice
Ross, Kate — The Devil in Music
Shankman, Sarah — I Still Miss My Man, But My Aim is Getting Better
Trocheck, Kathy Hogan — Happy Never After
Weber, Janice — Frost the Fiddler
Westlake, Donald — Baby, Would I Lie?