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Jazz

Jazz - 92 edition

ISBN13: 978-0452269651

Cover of Jazz 92 (ISBN 978-0452269651)
ISBN13: 978-0452269651
ISBN10: 0452269652

Cover type: Paperback
Edition: 92
Copyright: 1992
Publisher: Plume Books
Published: 1992
International: No

List price: $12.95

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Jazz - 92 edition

ISBN13: 978-0452269651

Toni Morrison

ISBN13: 978-0452269651
ISBN10: 0452269652

Cover type: Paperback
Edition: 92
Copyright: 1992
Publisher: Plume Books
Published: 1992
International: No
Summary

In the afterglow of a clean triumph--her widely celebrated, Pulitzer Prize-winning best-seller, Beloved--Toni Morrison moves to even higher ground. This, her eagerly awaited new novel, 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.

It is winter, barely three days into 1926, seven years after Armistice; we are in the scintillating City, around Lenox Avenue, "when all the wars are over and there will never be another one...At last, at last, everything's ahead...Here comes the new. Look out. There goes the sad stuff. The bad stuff. The things-nobody-could-help stuff." But amid the euphoric decisiveness, a tragedy ensues among people who had train-danced into the City, from points south and west, in search of promise.

Joe Trace--in his fifties, door-to-door salesman of Cleopatra beauty products, erstwhile devoted husband--shoots to death his lover of three months, impetuous, eighteen-year-old Dorcas ("Everything was like a picture show to her"). At the funeral, his determined, hard-working wife, Violet, herself a hairdresser--who is given to stumbling into dark mental cracks, and who talks mostly to birds--tries with a knife to disfigure the corpse.

In a dazzling act of jazz-like improvisation, moving seamlessly in and out of past, present, and future, a mysterious voice--whose identity is a matter of each reader's imagination--weaves this brilliant fiction, at the same time showing how its blues are informed by the brutal exigencies of slavery. Richly combining history, legend, reminiscence, this voice captures as never before the ineffable mood, the complex humanity, of black urban life at a moment in our century we assumed we understood.

Jazz is an unprecedented and astonishing invention, a landmark on the American literary landscape--a novel unforgettable and for all time.

This novel "tells the story of Violet and Joe Trace, married for over 20 years, residents of Harlem in 1926. . . . Violet works as an unlicensed hairdresser, doing ladies' hair in their own homes, and Joe sells Cleopatra cosmetics door to door. . . . When the novel opens, Joe has shot his 18-year-old lover, Dorcas, and Violet has disfigured the dead girl's body at her funeral in a fit of rage.Joe, who was not caught, is in mourning, crying all day in hisdarkened apartment, and Violet has taken on the task of finding out whatever she can about Dorcas."(Voice Lit Suppl)

Author Bio

Morrison, Toni :

The volume of critical and popular acclaim that has arisen around the work of Toni Morrison is virtually unparalleled in modern letters. Her six major novels--The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon, Sula, Tar Baby, Beloved, and Jazz--have collected nearly every major literary prize. Ms. Morrison received the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1977 for Song of Solomon. In 1987, Beloved was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. Her body of work was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1993. Other major awards include: the 1996 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the Pearl Buck Award (1994), the title of Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters (Paris, 1994), and 1978 Distinguished Writer Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Ms. Morrison was appointed Robert F. Goheen Professor of the Council of the Humanities at Princeton University in the spring of 1989. Before coming to Princeton, she held teaching posts at Yale University, Bard College, and Rutgers University. In 1990 she delivered the Clark lectures at Trinity College, Cambridge, and the Massey Lectures at Harvard University. Ms. Morrison was also a senior editor at Random House for twenty years. She has degrees from Howard and Cornell Universities.

A host of colleges and universities have given honorary degrees to Ms. Morrison. Among them are Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, Sarah Lawrence College, Dartmouth, Yale, Georgetown, Columbia University and Brown University. Ms. Morrison was commissioned by Carnegie Hall in 1992 to write lyrics "Honey and Me", an original piece of music by Andre Previn. The lyrics were sung in performance by Kathleen Battle. In 1997, she wrote the lyrics for "Sweet Talk", which was written by Richard Danielpour and performed in concert by Jessye Norman. Ms. Morrison lives in Princeton, New Jersey and upstate New York.

Toni Morrison has earned a reputation as a gifted storyteller whose troubled characters seek to find themselves and their cultural riches in a society that warps or impedes such essential growth. According to Charles Larson in the Chicago Tribune Book World, each of Morrison's novels "is as original as anything that has appeared in our literature in the last 20 years. The contemporaneity that unites them --the troubling persistence of racism in America--is infused with an urgency that only a black writer can have about our society."

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