Coverart for item
The Resource The Jazz Palace : a novel, Mary Morris

The Jazz Palace : a novel, Mary Morris

Label
The Jazz Palace : a novel
Title
The Jazz Palace
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Mary Morris
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Character
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ Born in Chicago, highly regarded novelist and travel writer Morris (The River Queen, 2007) plunges readers into that brash city’s roughneck, volcanically creative past in this transfixing novel. The historically accurate opening scene re-creates the shock and tragedy of the 1915 Eastland disaster, in which the top-heavy river steamship capsizes at the dock, drowning hundreds of summer revelers. Among the horrified witnesses is Benny, a rebellious Jewish boy and gifted piano player shadowed by the earlier death of a younger brother, and Pearl, also Jewish, who has just lost three brothers who were on board. As Morris follows Benny and Pearl’s difficult paths forward, she brings in Napoleon, an African American trumpeter who leaves New Orleans for the jazz clubs of Chicago. While Benny becomes enthralled by this strange new music, Pearl turns her family’s failing shop into a profitable speakeasy. Not only does Morris, rhapsodically fluent in the liberating innovations of jazz, vividly convey the passion to make music that rules the precarious lives of Benny and Napoleon. She also turns this tale of brutal hardships and stubborn dreams into a lush, swirling, evocative jazz composition, in which she sensitively depicts a city-in-flux shaped by poverty and romance, immigrants and migrants, anti-Semitism and racism, visionaries and gangsters. A graceful and involving affirmation of the transcendent power of art. -- Seaman, Donna (Reviewed 04-15-2015) (Booklist, vol 111, number 16, p36)
  • /* Starred Review */ Morris's first novel since 2004 puts her many gifts to use in a story of creativity, music, resilience, and love in Prohibition-era Chicago. In 1915, Benny Lehrman and Pearl Chimbrova encounter each other as teenagers as the SS Eastland sinks before their eyes, with three of Pearl's brothers aboard. In the years that follow, Benny—who feels dogged by tragedy—grows up fascinated not by Lehrman's Caps, the factory he is expected to run some day, but by the nascent musical genre called "jass." Recognizing Benny's talent as pianist and composer, trumpeter Napoleon Hill takes Benny to play beside him at the Jazz Palace, the speakeasy Pearl has created to help take care of her siblings. Music helps all three prosper, but it can't protect them from the privations of the Depression, the violence of the mob, or the barriers of discrimination. Meanwhile, Pearl and Benny are drawn to each other, but Benny's self-doubt and Pearl's seductive younger sister, Opal, complicate their relationship. As fluid and nuanced as the music it celebrates, Morris's narrative brings physical details, the power of music, and the sweeping history of Chicago (the author's hometown) to memorable life. Real events and figures weave seamlessly into the lives of three characters fighting to claim their authentic identities despite family, cultural, and inner resistance. (Apr.) --Staff (Reviewed April 27, 2015) (Publishers Weekly, vol 262, issue 17, p)
  • Morris, a fine writer of long fiction (from Crossroads to Revenge ), short fiction, and travel memoir, offers a grandly conceived novel that's nearly 20 years in the making. In Jazz Age Chicago, two Jewish families suffer tragedy, with the Lehrmans losing a son in a blizzard and the Chimbrovas three sons with the 1915 sinking of the SS Eastland . Despite the pressure, young Benny Lehrman is less interested in continuing the family's hat business than in indulging his passion for jazz. --Barbara Hoffert (Reviewed November 15, 2014) (Library Journal, vol 139, issue 19, p65)
  • A panoramic portrait of jazz-era Chicago, where, against a background of speak-easies, racial tension and gangsters, a Jewish boy with a talent for "the devil's music" observes and participates in the vibrancy of the day.Chicago in 1915, inspiration for local writer L. Frank Baum's Oz, "a place where you could package beef, ship wheat and make a fortune," emerges as perhaps the most memorable character in Morris' (The River Queen, 2007, etc.) new novel. Herself Chicago-raised, the author moves fluidly among the city's beachfronts and back streets, nightclubs and sweatshops, introducing a sizable cast of characters but focusing on three in particular. The first is Benny Lehrman, born with the century, an instinctive jazz pianist and composer. He first crosses paths with Pearl Chimbrova when both are children, on the fateful day the steamship Eastland sinks in the river, killing 844 people, including three of Pearl's brothers. Last there is Napoleon Hill, a black jazz trumpeter whose struggles and defiance are part of the novel's emphasis on racial injustice. All three seek escape, Benny and Napoleon in their music, Pearl in the deep waters of Lake Michigan, where she swims. Their destinies are intertwined with the city's history, evoked by Morris through events large and small and the presence of famous figures: Rudolf Valentino, Louis Armstrong, Leopold and Loeb, and, of course, Al Capone. Sometimes evocative, sometimes overburdened by research, this is fiction as urban biography, the city's hectic years connected via the hazy, overlapping fates of three particular faces in the crowd.Atmospheric but amorphous, Morris' restless novel works hard to encompass a cultural moment.(Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2015)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10409877
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1947-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Morris, Mary
Dewey number
813/.54
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Jewish families
  • Jazz musicians
  • Nineteen twenties
  • Jazz musicians
  • Jewish families
  • Nineteen twenties
  • Illinois
Label
The Jazz Palace : a novel, Mary Morris
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1082038
Edition
First edition.
Extent
1 volume
Isbn
9780385539739
Lccn
2014043501
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780385539739
  • (OCoLC)897436776
Label
The Jazz Palace : a novel, Mary Morris
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1082038
Edition
First edition.
Extent
1 volume
Isbn
9780385539739
Lccn
2014043501
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780385539739
  • (OCoLC)897436776

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      710 W. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78701, US
      30.2713021 -97.7460168
    • Howson BranchBorrow it
      2500 Exposition Blvd., Austin, TX, 78703, US
      30.2982508 -97.7675915
    • Pleasant Hill BranchBorrow it
      211 E. William Cannon Blvd., Austin, TX, 78745, US
      30.1922461 -97.7771661
    • Terrazas BranchBorrow it
      1105 E. Cesar Chavez St., Austin, TX, 78702, US
      30.2599154 -97.7334621
    • Windsor Park BranchBorrow it
      5833 Westminster Dr., Austin, TX, 78723, US
      30.3116523 -97.6902298
Processing Feedback ...