Author's Club Best First Novel Award
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.
With an introduction by author 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.
'Kay carefully registers the technical difficulties of transgendered life . . . She leaves us with a broad landscape of sweet tolerance and familial love' – New York Times
Recounted in clear, spare, utterly unsentimental prose . . . the voices in this tender, compassionate work were still singing in my head a couple of weeks after I'd finished it
The book's style works like a jazz riff, a literary improvisation of the central melody of Joss's death
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