Thursday, February 10, 2022

Violet Trace takes off one shoe in Toni Morrison's "Jazz"

Yesterday, after I finished rereading Toni Morrison's 1992 novel "Jazz", which, along with "Beloved" (1987) and "Paradise" (1988), is one of the books for my forthcoming seminar on Morrison's "Middle Novels", I posted a simple quotation from the end of the book, when Violet Trace cleans herself up after work and realizes she's forgotten to take off her shoes: "Putting the toe of her left foot to the heel of her right, she pushed the shoe off." It's a lovely, apparently unmotivated description of an everyday activity that is often overlooked in literature – but the story does offer motivation when Violet's husband Joe finds her asleep with her left shoe on. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 10 February 2022)

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