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Author(s): Toni Morrison

Location(s): New York City (NYC)

Genre(s): Fiction, Historical

Era(s): Mainly 1920s



Joe Trace – in his fifties, door-to-door salesman of beauty products, erstwhile devoted husband – shoots to death his lover of three months, impetuous, eighteen-year-old Dorcas. At the funeral, his determined, hard-working wife, Violet – who is given to stumbling into dark mental cracks – tries with a knife to disfigure the corpse.

Jazz is the story of a triangle of passion, jealousy, murder and redemption, of sex and spirituality, of slavery and liberation, country and city, of being male and female, African American, and above all being human.

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Book Reviews

Lead Review

A beautiful and compelling novel set in 20s Harlem, it profoundly captures Joe’s ailing marriage, and the aftermath of the murder.

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Lead Review

Beautifully studied layering of Black Culture, family dynamics and jazz is certainly a part of the overall story – Harlem of the 1920s just comes to life with the author’s gentle and perceptive touch...

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