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Jazz by Toni Morrison

From the acclaimed Nobel Prize winner, a passionate, profound story of love and obsession that brings us back and forth in time, as a narrative is assembled from the emotions, hopes, fears, and deep realities of Black urban life. With a foreword by the by.

“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

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 novel “transforms a familiar refrain of jilted love into a bold, sustaining time of self-knowledge and discovery. Its rhythms are infectious” (People).

“The by conjures up worlds with complete byity and makes no secret of her angst at the injustices dealt to Black women.” —The New York Times Book Review

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Toni Morrison

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