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Kay, Jackie

(British, 1961– )

Jackie Kay was born and grew up in Scotland and now lives in Manchester. She has written award-winning poetry, and her first novel, Trumpet (1998) won the Guardian Fiction Prize. It explores the life of Joss Moody, a jazz trumpeter who lives as a man, but is revealed at death to have been a woman. The voices of his wife, son, fellow musicians, mother, and muck-raking would-be biographer, are intercut to build up a kaleidoscope picture of his life and to raise interesting questions about identity—and, along the way, to reveal much about those who love him. Joss's angry, betrayed son Colman is a fine creation, though his bland wife Millie is less convincing. Why Don't You Stop Talking (2002) is a delightful collection of short stories, combining warmth and humour with meticulous attention to detail.

Yann Martell (Self), Andrea Levy  JR

Additional topics

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionBooks & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Ha-Ke)