Add to Cart About Jazz In the winter ofwhen 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. 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.
Violet and Joe are unhappily married and living together in an apartment in Harlem when Joe falls in love with a seventeen-year old girl named Dorcas. Joe and Dorcas meet when Joe comes to Dorcas's aunt's house to sell ladies cosmetics, and their affair lasts from October of to the first of January Joe talks with Malvonne, an upstairs neighbor, and negotiates the use of her empty apartment so that he and Dorcas can meet there.
This arrangement continues for several months and neither Violet nor Alice Manfred, Dorcas's aunt, have any knowledge of the affair. Although Joe brings Dorcas presents every time they meet, eventually Dorcas begins to get tired of the older man and starts going out with younger boys, attending parties with her best friend Felice, and making up excuses so as not to meet with Joe.
When Joe finally confronts Dorcas about this, she cruelly tells him that he makes her sick and that he should not bother her any more. Dorcas prefers the attentions of a popular and good-looking young man named Acton, with whom she dances at a party on New Year's Day.
Dorcas knows that Joe has not gotten over her and will come looking for her, so she is only half-surprised when he tracks her down at the party and sees her dancing with Acton.
Joe, however, brings a gun and shoots Dorcas in the shoulder. Dorcas tells the alarmed witnesses not to call an ambulance, even though she would survive if she allowed someone to help her, and she consequently bleeds to death. Everyone knows that Joe shot Dorcas and rumor of their affair begins to spread in the community after the young girl's death.
Violet appears unexpectedly at Dorcas' open-casket funeral and slashes Dorcas's face with a knife. Several weeks later, she begins to visit Dorcas's mourning aunt, Alice Manfred, and the two women begin to develop a friendship as a result of their shared tragedy. In the spring, Joe mourns Dorcas's death and he and Violet patch things up in their relationship, mediated in part by their new friendship with Dorcas's best friend, Felice.
As the narrator tells the story of Violet, Joe, and Dorcas in Harlem she follows a stream of associations and digressive details to create a complex web of people, places, and stories extending back to the late nineteenth century.
Violet grew up in a poor household in Virginia with her mother Rose Dear. Her grandmother, True Belle, came from Baltimore to live with them when Violet's father abandoned the family. Soon afterwards Violet's mother, Rose Dear, committed suicide by throwing herself into a well.
Joe also grew up in Virginia. He was orphaned at birth and raised by adoptive parents. As a young man he wondered about his birth mother's identity and tied on several occasions to find her.
His mentor, a hunter named Henry LesTroy and called "Hunters Hunter," hinted to Joe that his mother was the local mystery, a crazy homeless rover named Wild.
When Joe finally tracked Wild down in the woods he asked her to confirm somehow that she was indeed his mother. Wild responded with a hand gesture that Joe could not make out, leaving him to question his own identity.
Joe and Violet met in a town called Palestine where they were working the fields. They got married and moved to Harlem, which is referred to simply as "the City" throughout the novel.
In the course of telling Joe and Violet's story, the narrator recounts the stories of periphery characters such as Vera Louise Gray and her son Golden Gray.
The narrator shows the connections between the characters, focusing on the perspectives and experiences of individuals and sometimes allowing them to narrate their stories in their own words.
He believed all his life that he was a white adopted orphan, but when True Belle told him the truth about his father, he set out for Virginia to confront Henry LesTroy.
When she turned quickly and knocked herself unconscious, he decided to take her with him to his father's home. Wild was very pregnant and gave birth to Joe when they arrived at Henry LesTroy's house. Golden Gray never returned to Baltimore after this incident but lived with Wild in the woods, totally apart from civilization.
These stories about Harlem and Virginia are recapitulated and fleshed out several times throughout the novel in flashbacks and digressions.Bill Evans was one of the greatest jazz pianists of the second half of the 20th century.
His playing on Miles Davis's landmark record, Kind of Blue, and as leader of the Bill Evans Trio was a major influence on players like Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea."Bill's value can't be measured in any kind of terms," Corea once said. "He's one of the great, great artists of this.
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Free summary and analysis of the events in Toni Morrison's Jazz that won't make you snore. We promise.
Find all available study guides and summaries for A Mercy by Toni Morrison. If there is a SparkNotes, Shmoop, or Cliff Notes guide, we will have it listed here. Jazz.
|Navigate Guide||JpCambert AlexKerner It is non-fiction, but you are correct: I was under the impression it was a fictionalized memoir from father to son while reading it.|
|Be Book-Smarter.||Morrison has written six novels and a collection of essays and lectures.|
|From the SparkNotes Blog||A lot of audiobooks aren't very good, but this one way great, and really brings out the fact that Anansi stories are meant to be heard.|
|Jazz by Toni Morrison : The Symbolic Significance of the Title||Table of Contents Joe Trace Joe is a kind-hearted and fundamentally good man who is driven by sadness and fear to shoot and kill his young lover, Dorcas. Like his wife, Violet, Joe's suffering stems in large part from his unstable and painful childhood.|
|Build a bibliography or works cited page the easy way||Morrison has written six novels and a collection of essays and lectures. Her work has won national and international acclaim and has been translated into 14 languages.|
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