Joe Trace shoots his lover, the impetuous 18-year-old Dorcas. At the funeral his determined, hardworking wife Violet tries to disfigure the corpse with a knife. Their story captures the complex humanity of black American urban life at that time.
‘Jazz blazes with an intensity more usually found in tragic poetry of the past…. Morrison’s voice transcends colour and creed and she has become one of America’s outstanding post-war writers’ Guardian
Joe Trace – in his fifties, door-to-door salesman of Cleopatra beauty products, erstwhile devoted husband – shoots dead his lover of three months, the 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. Passionate and profound, Jazz brings us back and forth in time, in a narrative assembled from the hopes, fears and realities of black urban life.
‘She wrote about what was difficult and what was necessary and in doing so she unearthed for a generation of people a kind of redemption, a kind of relief’ Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, New York Times
BY THE NOBEL PRIZE-WINNING AUTHOR OF BELOVED
Winner of the PEN/Saul Bellow award for achievement in American fiction
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