Cover of: Jazz | Toni Morrison

About the Book

It is winter, barely three days into 1926, seven years after Armistice; we are in the scintillating City, around Lenox Avenue, "when all the wars are over and there will never be another one... At last, at last, everything's ahead... Here comes the new. Look out. There goes the sad stuff. The bad stuff. The things-nobody-could-help stuff." But amid the euphoric decisiveness, a tragedy ensues among people who had train-danced into the City, from points south and west, in search of promise.

Joe Trace--in his fifties, door-to-door salesman of Cleopatra beauty products, erstwhile devoted husband--shoots to death his lover of three months, impetuous, eighteen-year-old Dorcas ("Everything was like a picture show to her"). At the funeral, his determined, hard-working wife, Violet, herself a hairdresser--who is given to stumbling into dark mental cracks, and who talks mostly to birds--tries with a knife to disfigure the corpse.

In a dazzling act of jazz-like improvisation, moving seamlessly in and out of past, present, and future, a mysterious voice--whose identity is a matter of each reader's imagination--weaves this brilliant fiction, at the same time showing how its blues are informed by the brutal exigencies of slavery. Richly combining history, legend, reminiscence, this voice captures as never before the ineffable mood, the complex humanity, of black urban life at a moment in our century we assumed we understood.

Edition Notes

Genre
Fiction.

Classifications

Dewey Decimal Class
813/.54
Library of Congress
PS3563.O8749 J38 1993

The Physical Object

Pagination
229 p. ;
Number of pages
229

ID Numbers

Open Library
OL1729917M
Internet Archive
jazz000morr
ISBN 10
0452269652
LC Control Number
92034317
Library Thing
11833
Goodreads
37398
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History

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April 5, 2014 Edited by ImportBot Added IA ID.
September 29, 2012 Edited by Apples merge authors
October 25, 2011 Edited by ImportBot import new book
July 31, 2010 Edited by IdentifierBot added LibraryThing ID
April 1, 2008 Created by an anonymous user Initial record created, from Scriblio MARC record.