Jazz by Toni Morrison
While I read Beloved & Song of Solomon in high school, I either wasn’t paying attention (likely) or (likelier) my English department was both woefully under equipped to explain the magnitude and meaning of Morrison’s work to a bunch of privileged, mostly white 15-year-olds — AND over burdened by AP requirements that had us rushing through these works, ticking them off a list rather than doing any kind of deep dive or cultural exploration.
Which is to say, I didn’t love either book in high school. TBH I was so swamped with all the REST of my required reading that I didn’t have the space to absorb it all, ask questions, let the language and the rhythm and the Black experience seep into my bones the way it was intended to.
I’m not proud to admit this, but I never bothered to correct that imbalance. it took her recent passing to jolt me into action.
I started with Jazz, because I was so intrigued by the jacket description, and it’s the one I knew the least about going in.
I got this amazing old copy from my library (REMEMBER LIBRARIES? UGH 😫)
I can’t write any kind of “review” that would do it justice… except to say, it’s like music. And it’s about love. And survival.
The prose is written like jazz music, and it’s fucking magical. I looked for an audiobook, b/c I bet that’d be amazing, but the only one available is old and it appears she was reading from a different edition that reviewers didn’t like as much.
If you’re feeling sad and scared about the world right now, read this. It’ll soothe your jangly nerves.
Samantha Pollack is a Positioning Strategist & Copywriter who creates powerful brand personalities and compelling marketing copy for service providers, creatives, BIPOC women, AuDHD folks, activists, queers, weirdos, and other smart people.
She's known for her ability to truly capture my clients' voice and craft messaging that makes THEIR clients feel seen, safe, and excited AF to get to work.
Sam believes the most important asset in your business is your audience’s trust, and is working to build a new marketing paradigm rooted in honesty, kindness, and slowing the f*ck down—while making (and paying) sustainable wages.
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(But sometimes, I also like to write about the books I’m reading, or the creative process, or the entrepreneurial experience, or why I hate Steve Jobs, or how I met my BFF. I’ll send you emails like that, too.)
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