By Jackie Kay
Trumpet cover



The death of legendary jazz trumpeter Joss Moody exposes an extraordinary secret, one that enrages his adopted son, Colman, leading him to collude with a tabloid journalist. Besieged by the press, his widow Millie flees to a remote Scottish village, where she seeks solace in memories of their marriage. The reminiscences of those who knew Joss Moody render a moving portrait of a shared life founded on an intricate lie, one that preserved a rare, unconditional love.

Year of Publication


Jackie Kay’s novel is centred on jazz player Joss Moody. His trumpeting has made him famous, but after his death a fact emerges that went very much untrumpeted in his life: he was a woman. Kay deals sensitively with race and gender, with adoption and inheritance, to create a vivid portrayal of love which transcends boundaries and art which unites the most disparate of individuals. -- Stuart Kelly

Author Biography

Jackie Kay was born in Edinburgh. She is a poet, novelist and writer of short stories. Her novel Trumpet won the Guardian Fiction Prize, and she has published two previous collections of stories with Picador, Why Don't You Stop Talking and Wish I Was Here. Her most recent books are Fiere and her memoir, Red Dust Road, which won the 2011 Scottish Book Award.