Jul 10, 2020

Jazz by Toni Morrison

I’ve FINALLY been correcting the Toni Morrison shaped hole in my reading life.

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

About Sam

Samantha Pollack is a Copywriter & Creative Director who works with ethically minded, mission driven businesses who are actively trying to reshape our culture (and possibly tear down the patriarchy). She’s also the founder of The Highly Sensitive Business Owner, a 12-week online program that helps HSPs & neurodivergent business owners create healthier, more sustainable systems in their work.

Sam also writes about feminism, privilege, pop culture, entrepreneurship, the creative process, and whatever else is on her mind. She currently lives in Asheville, NC.

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