Trumpet unfolds a story about an acclaimed jazz trumpeter, Joss Moody, and the revelation of his biological sex as female after his death, which causes a stir in the public and in his family's life. Kay stated in an interview that her novel was inspired by the life of Billy Tipton, an American jazz musician, who lived with the secret of being a woman for fifty years in pursuit of his musical career in the 1950s. The novel addresses themes of identity, grief, love, relationship, and secret. Through the accounts of Moody's family, friends, and others, the novel raises the question not of woman versus man, but of true identity and the significance of one's life in relation to their actions and contributions to the world.
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