This article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2022)
|Publisher||Alfred A. Knopf Inc.|
|Media type||Print (hardback & paperback)|
Jazz is a 1992 historical novel by Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning American author Toni Morrison. The majority of the narrative takes place in Harlem during the 1920s; however, as the pasts of the various characters are explored, the narrative extends back to the mid-19th-century American South.
Jazz was Morrison’s most recently published work when she was awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize for Literature. In the novel, "Morrison uses a device which is akin to the way jazz itself is played… The result is a richly complex, sensuously conveyed image of the events, the characters and moods."
- Joe Trace, a door-to-door cosmetics salesman and the murderer of his young lover.
- Violet Trace, an unlicensed beautician. Violet is married to Joe. She is nicknamed "Violent" because she assaulted the corpse of Joe’s lover with a knife at the funeral.
- Dorcas, Joe's young lover, who is shot down at a party. Dorcas is inspired by a picture from The Harlem Book of the Dead (a collection of funeral photographs by James Van Der Zee).
- Alice Manfred, Dorcas' aunt and guardian. A conservative Christian ashamed by her niece's behavior. Alice enters into an unusual friendship with Violet.
- Felice, a friend of Dorcas' who goes to the Trace household in search of answers.
- Golden Gray, a mixed race man from the 19th century. Golden appears in both Joe's and Violet's histories.
- "Toni Morrison", The Nobel Prize, Press release, October 7, 1993.