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Jazz by Toni Morrison
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Jazz (1992)

by Toni Morrison

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3,872502,014 (3.62)189
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.… (more)
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» See also 189 mentions

English (47)  German (1)  All languages (48)
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
Amazing. How a story is told makes all the difference. ( )
  quondame | Sep 2, 2019 |
Why did I wait learning that she is no longer with us to take this book out off the shelf where it had been for years to open and read it? One of those - a long list really - that I want to read but don’t get around to, always no time, always others pushing in.
Toni Morrison plays with language: sentence and story structures, with words also. Not a linear narrative here. And voices talking to each other, yes sometimes, but also addressing - the narrator? - you who is reading, who is ready to listen? The thoughts: who is voicing them? or is saying in anticipating your thoughts?
The novel is written in many voices and the story not just centres on Joe and Violet, neither on the killing or what would have been a killing, these we find on the first pages, sometimes one, sometimes another voice dominates as it does in Jazz. You need to develop an ear for it and a liking and it becomes beautiful.
She opens up to me black lives in Harlem in the 1920s, now almost 100 years ago, with flashbacks to the rural South. In her wonderful way of writing she brings the women and men, in particular the women, to life in all their complexities and contradictions. The lives lived despite, despite … The music that says it as does her voice.

Now she opened a window for me and all her books are waiting. (VIII-19)
  MeisterPfriem | Aug 21, 2019 |
Not as hard-hitting as Song of Solomon or Beloved - those books explore similar themes much more effectively - but there were still passages on love and the longing for it that made me catch my breath. ( )
  doryfish | Jul 31, 2019 |
dust jacket
  Sheila01 | Jul 27, 2019 |
It took me a hot minute to get into this--I appreciated having Morrison's commentary at the front, because it let me relax and just flow with the story. Once I was able to do that, and especially once I understood what was going on narration-wise, it was a really beautiful and lovely book. I'm not sure it's one I'd start with--Morrison makes reference to this being a kind of spiritual sequel to Beloved so it probably makes sense to read that first even if the content isn't a direct corollary. Regardless, this really was a beautiful book and I'd love to talk about it with other people! ( )
  aijmiller | Jul 1, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Toni Morrisonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Vink, NettieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Io sono il nome del suono e il suono del nome. Sono il segno della lettera e la designazione della divisione. "Tuono, mente perfetta" Nag Hammadi
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Für RW und George
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Sth, I know that woman.
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What good are secrets if you can't talk to anybody about them?
It's nice when grown people whisper to each other under the covers. Their ecstasy is more leaf-sigh than bray and the body is the vehicle, not the point. They reach, grown people, for something beyond and way, way down underneath tissue.
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