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  • Published: 4 January 2002
  • ISBN: 9780099750918
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $19.99


Nobel Prize-winning author of Beloved, Toni Morrison is one of the finest novelists of our times.

'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 YorkTimes


Winner of the PEN/Saul Bellow award for achievement in American fiction

  • Published: 4 January 2002
  • ISBN: 9780099750918
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. She was the author of many novels, including The Bluest Eye, Sula, Beloved, Paradise and Love. She received the National Book Critics Circle Award and a Pulitzer Prize for her fiction and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honour, in 2012 by Barack Obama. Toni Morrison died on 5 August 2019 at the age of eighty-eight.

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Praise for Jazz

A great storyteller


Morrison’s writing of a black romance pays its debt to blues music, the rhythms and the melancholy pleasures of which she has so magically transformed into a novel

London Review of Books

The author conjures up worlds with complete authority and makes no secret of her angst at the injustices dealt to black women

New York Times Book Review

Wonderful... A brilliant, daring novel... Every voice amazes

Chicago Tribune

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


She may be the last classic American writer, squarely in the tradition of Poe, Melville, Twain and Faulkner


[A] masterpiece... She has moved from strength to strength until she has reached the distinction of being beyond comparison

Entertainment Weekly

A masterpiece... A sensuous, haunting story of various kinds of passion... Mesmerizing


Thrillingly written...seductive... Some of the finest lyric passages ever written in a modern novel

Chicago Sun-Times

A compelling blend of heart and language... Resounds with passion

Boston Globe

She captures that almost indistinguishable mixture of the anxiety and rapture of expectation - that state of desire where sin is just another word for appetite

San Francisco Chronicle

Lyrically brooding... One accepts the characters of Jazz as generalized figures moving rhythmically in the narrator's mind

New York Times

She is the best writer in America. Jazz, for sure; but also Mozart

National Public Radio

Transforms a familiar refrain of jilted love into a bold, sustaining time of self-knowledge and discovery. Its rhythms are infectious


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