Jazz, which takes place in the 1920s, tells the story of married couple Joe and Violet after Joe begins an affair with the much-younger Dorcas. Joe and Dorcasí passionate affair ends in her death, and Violet and Joe, along with Dorcasí friends and family, struggle to put the pieces of their lives back together. The novel, which explores themes of race and violence, also incorporates vignettes which explain the pasts of Violet, Joe, and other characters.

Summary of Jazz by Toni Morrison

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