Buy Used
£1.98
FREE Delivery on orders over £10.
Used: Good | Details
Sold by Tree Savers
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: A used book that is in good, clean condition. Your item will be picked, packed and posted FREE to you within the UK by Amazon, also eligible for super saver delivery
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Trumpet Paperback – 27 Aug 1999

4.5 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback, 27 Aug 1999
£4.99 £0.01
Audio CD
"Please retry"
£17.35

There is a newer edition of this item:

Available from these sellers.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; New edition edition (27 Aug. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330331469
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330331463
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.9 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 95,107 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Jackie Kay's first novel is a curious and haunting story about mixed-race jazz trumpeter Joss Moody (Irish mother, black father), who turns out, on his death, to have been a woman all along. The story begins with that discovery. Thereafter it traces its consequences for his white wife Millie, who always knew, and his adopted black son Colman, who didn't. Millie rehearses the stages of her relationship with Joss, reworking an intense and abiding love and commitment in which gender is, oddly, never really an issue. Colman, by contrast, is driven, in the period immediately following his father's death, by anger and an intense feeling of betrayal, to try to "out" his father and complete his humiliation as a kind of personal expiation. As he retraces the steps of Joss's life, however, he begins gradually to change his mind. Kay has won acclaim for her poetry. Here she shows that she can harness her plangent voice to a narrative, producing writing of real maturity. Race and gender are deftly woven into its fabric, without insistence, to reveal a troubling ordinariness about fragmentation and confusions of identity in contemporary British life. --Lisa Jardine

Review

WINNER OF THE 1998 GUARDIAN FICTION PRIZE " It has a humanity and sympathy which engaged me from start to finish. And its energy and directness made it a treat to read. . . . [Trumpet makes] us see that people apparently very unlike ourselves are in fact very much like ourselves. . . . Love is not usually such a triumphant idea in modern writing, but I think Jackie Kay makes it believably and vividly so." -- Ian Jack, "Granta" " Kay spins a love story, a fairy tale, and a psychological thriller out of one deep secret. She has a great gift for delving inside sundry souls, making poetry of their quirks. At its best, her prose ripples like jazz and brims with exquisite insights." -- Andrea Ashworth, author of Once in a House on Fire " Jackie Kay makes the unbelievable gloriously real. For a first novel this is remarkably assured, full of melody and tension. Each character is given a singing part, bouncing notes and harmonies off each other as Joss's story is teasingly, movingly revealed. ...Trumpet is a love story and a lament, beautifully told." -- Eithne Farry, "Time Out" " A hypnotic story...about the walls between what is known and what is secret--. Spare, haunting, dreamlike." ---"Time" " Splendid...[Kay's] imaginative leaps in story and language will remind some readers of a masterful jazz solo." ---"The San Francisco Chronicle"

See all Product Description

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Written mainly as a series of interior landscapes with relatively short sketches of the outside world in London and Scotland, the work stimulates your curiosity and engages your empathy. The focus of the story, Joss Moody, deceased trumpeter, appears largely and tantalisingly through others' eyes. This approach is no mere device, it is the point: what Joss meant to those who knew and loved him/her and how his "deception", as some define her/his secret, affects their loyalty and feelings for him/her.
A certain frustration may come from not having one's curiosity fulfilled about Joss's motivation for abandoning his life as the female Josephine. I also regret not witnessing more of Joss's mother's encounter with the adopted son, Colman. The book, though, is not an argument for transvestitism nor is it an apology, nothing so crude. The book is more a celebration, a song for that intangible in the human spirit that makes us feel we have experienced a unique relationship in knowing a particular individual. We are not presented with analysis of these experiences but, rather, the author plays each character's reflections much as Joss played his music. Indeed, Joss, though dead, is still very much alive not only in his recordings but also within those he loved. We too experience him/her in the sublime "Music" chapter where the soul of the novel and the soul of Joss meet in a poetic nexus.
By the end of the book, we have come to know Joss and his/her affect on people but s/he remains an enigma. The newspaper hack attempting to ghost-write Colman's "official biography" of Joss would doubtless produce a conclusive character portrait confidently separating appearance from reality and yet be a million miles from the truth. Kay instead leaves all judgements up to the reader who through her sensitive rendering feel not an impulse to judge but rather a reason to grieve.
Comment 29 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
The extraordinary life of a jazz trumpeter, Joss (born Josephine) Moody, who lived and played as a man. The story is told by a series of voices after Joss's death, including 'his' grieving widow and angry foster-son. Jackie Kay brings out the black humour of gender confusion, while gently suggesting that genius and love are just that, no matter how bizarre the circumstances. Beautifully written (the author is a poet) - but never precious.
Comment 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I am amased that this book isn't more well-known (I had trouble finding it in most bookstores) because it is a brilliant read. I had to read it for my women's module and it was far from a chore. I loved all the narrators of this book and particularly felt sorry for Mrs Moody and her son. It only took me 3 days to read it because it was that good. It is impossible to put down. It deals with the issues of love, death, anger and identity crisis with ease. I recommend it to everyone.
Comment 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
A rare book of great emotional strength which left me sobbing quietly at the end. It combines a tribute to the intense comforts of a passionate and long lasting marriage with an agonising search for identity and belonging and finally resolves its narrative movingly and resonantly. Every description rings true, every character lives, every episode has meaning - nothing is spare. A really wonderful book.
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Trumpet begins with quite a shock. A woman is hiding away from journalists who want to know more about the death of her husband, Joss Moody. He was a famous trumpet player and he had a secret. Millie knew her husband's secret all along but no one else did. It was something that they both kept from the world. Joss Moody was actually a woman and dressed and acted as a man for most of his life. The book starts with a very strong sense of grief, especially as Millie is struggling so much without her husband. It really saddened me to see her struggle in such a way and for the journalists to not leave her alone. I wanted to bang on the window and tell them to F Off!

The whole book isn't told from the view of Millie Moody though. We also get to hear from Joss's son, Coleman, an author who is trying to write a book about Joss and various friends and family members. While the change of voice was quite strange at times, it helped me to understand Joss as a person much better. The only person who truly understood Joss was his wife so through these other characters, their confusion, anger and sadness explored. Coleman especially had such a strong voice because of how angry he was when he found out the truth about his father. I loved reading his chapters and seeing how his reactions changed.

Obviously, as well as tackling the subject of grief, Trumpet is mainly about gender and identity. I wished that we could have heard from Joss himself, to have gotten to know what his life was like. However, I think that the other character's thoughts did the situation justice when it came to not understanding something different. Jackie Kay really hits the nail on the head when she talks about people not accepting things they don't understand.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Trumpet collects the eperiences of fictional trumpeter Joss Moody's friends and family, after his death when it is revealed he was actually female. The most prominant characters are his loving wife, his resentful son, and the shallow journalist who, in hope of writing a scandallous best-selling book, imagines Moody and his wife as butch lesbians.

At the end of the book, although I hadn't met Joss Moody, i felt I knew him better than any of the other characters. Kay's storytelling is absolutely top-notch; this book _wants_ to be read in one sitting.

It's definately made me want to read everything else that Jackie Kay has written.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Look for similar items by category


Feedback