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.
Jazz is spellbinding for the haunting passion of its profound love story, and for the bittersweet lyricism and refined sensuality of its powerful and elegant style.
"Jazz blazes with an intensity more usually found in tragic poetry of the past, not in fiction today... Morrison's voice transcends colour and creed and she has become one of America's outstanding post-war writers... A great storyteller, her characters have amazing and terrible pasts - they must find them out, or be haunted by them" -- Marina Warner Guardian "A masterpiece... A sensuous, haunting story of various kinds of passion... Mesmerizing" Cosmopolitan "As rich in themes and poetic images as her Pulitzer Prize-winning Beloved... Morrison conjures up the hand of slavery on Harlem's jazz generation. The more you listen, the more you crave to hear" Glamour "The author conjures up worlds with complete authority and makes no secret of her angst at the injustices dealt to black women" -- Edna O' Brien New York Times Book Review "Wonderful... A brilliant, daring novel... Every voice amazes" Chicago Tribune
Toni Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. She is the author of many novels, including The Bluest Eye, Beloved (made into a major film), Paradise and, most recently, Home. She has also received the National Book Critics Circle Award and a Pulitzer Prize for her fiction.