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Trumpet

4.01 based on 2276 ratings & 166 reviews on Goodreads.com

1998 Winner

Author's Club Best First Novel Award

Synopsis

With an introduction by Ali Smith.

When the love of your life dies, the problem is not that some part of you dies too, which it does, but that some part of you is still alive.

The death of legendary jazz trumpeter Joss Moody exposes an extraordinary secret. Unbeknown to all but his wife Millie, Joss was a woman living as a man. The discovery is most devastating for their adopted son, Colman, whose bewildered fury brings the press to the doorstep and sends his grieving mother to the sanctuary of a remote Scottish village.

Winner of the Guardian Fiction Prize, Trumpet by Jackie Kay is a starkly beautiful modern classic about the lengths to which people will go for love. It is a moving story of a shared life founded on an intricate lie, of loving deception and lasting devotion, and of the intimate workings of the human heart.

In the media

Kay's powerful rendition of everyday speech combines perfectly with the themes and construction of her story
Independent on Sunday
In an accomplished display of vocal versatility, Kay shifts effortlessly between the voices of Millie, Colman and Sophie Stones, an avaricious journalist who offers to help Colman avenge himself by ghostwriting a bare-all biography . . . the beauty of this book is the way its love, the character and story around which all the others orbit, is kept so intriguingly in the shadows, so fantastically out of view
Literary Review
From the angry and disbelieving voice of the son Colman, whose hurt and alienation can only find expression through the cliche´s of tabloid exposé, to Millie's personal elegy for her husband, Jackie Kay's ear for the poetry as well as for the rudeness of everyday speech is as powerful as ever
Times Literary Supplement