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Jazz
TONI MORRISON

Jazz by Toni Morrison
70 reviews (1992) (256p)
New York TimesĀ® Best Fiction Books
ALA Notable Books - Fiction Finalist

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Book Description
In the winter of 1926, when everybody everywhere sees nothing but good things ahead, Joe Trace, middle-aged door-to-door salesman of Cleopatra beauty products, shoots his teenage lover to death. At the funeral, Joe's wife, Violet, attacks the girl's corpse. This passionate, profound story of love and obsession brings us back and forth in time, as a narrative is assembled from the emotions, hopes, fears, and deep realities of black urban life.


Amazon.com Review
Jazz embraces the vibrant music and lifestyle of 1920s Harlem, an urban renaissance of opportunity and glamour. A novel of murder, hard lives, and broken dreams, Jazz sways with a lyric medley of voices and human consciousness.

Narrated by the author, Toni Morrison, this is an intense but gratifying three hours of tape. Background jazz music enhances the feel of '20s Harlem, a city that attracted thousands of black southerners hoping for better lives. Joe Trace and his wife Violet were part of this migration; madly in love with each other and the idea of this urban mecca, they "traindanced into the city." But like so many of the marriages in Morrison's novels, this union crumbles, and the dreams for a better life fade away. Joe finds another, a love "that made him so sad and happy he shot her just to keep the feeling going."

In Jazz, time ebbs and flows like human memory, traversing between recollections of the past and expectations for the future; likewise, jazz music is often wild and chaotic. Here Morrison once again exemplifies herself as both a superb writer and a masterful storyteller.


Other Award Winning Books by Toni Morrison
God Help the Child by Toni Morrison
758 reviews (2015) (192p) (NYT100)
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Home by Toni Morrison
301 reviews (2012) (160p) (NYT100)
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A Mercy by Toni Morrison
176 reviews (2008) (176p) (NYTimes) (ALA)
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Love by Toni Morrison
101 reviews (2003) (208p) (ALA)
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Beloved by Toni Morrison
676 reviews (1987) (288p) (PP) (NBCCA) (NBA) (NYTimes) (Novel100)
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Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
237 reviews (1977) (337p) (NBCCA)
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Sula by Toni Morrison
134 reviews (1974) (192p) (NBA)
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Toni Morrison Award Stats
Major Prize* Nominations 8  
Unique Books Nominated for a Major Prize* 6  
Pulitzer Prize Wins 1 Beloved ·  
Pulitzer Prize Nominations 1 Beloved ·  
National Book Critics Circle Award Wins 1 Song of Solomon ·  
National Book Critics Circle Award Nominations 2 Beloved · Song of Solomon ·  
National Book Award Wins 0  
National Book Award Nominations 2 Beloved · Sula ·  
Man Booker Prize Wins 0  
Man Booker Prize Nominations 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Wins 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Nominations 0  

*Major Prize = Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, National Book Award, Man Booker Prize, and PEN/Faulkner Award

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