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Download The Jazz Palace Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Jazz Palace, by Mary Morris Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mary Morris Narrator: Michael Early Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Acclaimed author Mary Morris returns to her Chicago roots in this sweeping novel that brilliantly captures the dynamic atmosphere and the dazzling music of the jazz age.

In the midst of boomtown Chicago, two Jewish families have suffered terrible blows. The Lehrmans, who run a small hat factory, lost their beloved son Harold in a blizzard. The Chimbrovas, who run a saloon, lost three of their boys on the SS Eastland when it sank in 1915. Each family holds out hope that one of their remaining children will rise to carry on the family business. But Benny Lehrman has no interest in making hats. His true passion is piano—especially jazz.

At night he sneaks down to the South Side, slipping into predominantly black clubs to hear jazz groups play. One night he is called out and asked to “sit in” on a group. His playing is first-rate, and the other musicians are impressed. One of them, the trumpeter, a black man named Napoleon, becomes Benny’s close friend and musical collaborator, and their adventures together take Benny far from the life he knew as a delivery boy. Pearl Chimbrova recognizes their talent and invites them to start playing at her family’s saloon, which Napoleon dubs “The Jazz Palace.”

But Napoleon’s main gig is at a mob establishment, which doesn’t take too kindly to freelancing. And as the ‘20s come to a close and the bubble of prosperity collapses, Benny, Napoleon, and Pearl must all make hard choices between financial survival and the music they love.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Through the eyes of immigrants and gangsters, blacks and whites, the dreamers and those who have lost themselves, Morris sings us the story of Chicago at the start of the twentieth century, underscored by the rise of jazz.”

    Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author

  • “Morris weaves true events into the fabric of her riveting story.”

    Christina Baker Kline, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Haunting and dreamlike, there is no other word for this novel but masterpiece.”

    Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Fluid and poetical…With brio, Morris creates music on the page.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “[Morris] 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.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “A panoramic portrait of jazz-era Chicago, where, against a background of speakeasies, racial tension, and gangsters, a Jewish boy with a talent for ‘the devil’s music’ observes and participates in the vibrancy of the day.”

    Kirkus Reviews

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About the Author

Mary Morris is a novelist, short-story writer, and author of travel literature. Her many works include the novels Crossroads, The Waiting Room, and The Night Sky. She wrote the travel memoirs Nothing to Declare: Memoirs of a Woman Traveling Alone and Wall to Wall: From Beijing to Berlin by Rail. She is a recipient of the Rome Prize in Literature and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and Creative Artists Public Service Awards.