Teacher Guide

Jazz Lesson Plan

Introduction to Jazz

Jazz was first published in 1992 by Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison. The novel is the second part of Morrison's Dantesque trilogy on African-American history, beginning with Beloved (1987) and ending with Paradise (1997).

The narrator tells the story of Violet, Joe, and Dorcas in Harlem during the 1920's. Joe and Dorcas were having an affair, which ended in Joe shooting and killing Dorcas. The book opens with Joe's wife, Violet, showing up at the funeral and slashing the dead girl's face with a knife. In the course of telling Violet's and Joe's stories, the narrative uses flashbacks to explore the lives of the characters in Virginia in the late 1800s and early...

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