This is the first book in Austin Clarke’s acclaimed trilogy about a group of West Indian domestics, their friends, lovers, spouses and employers living in Toronto. In rich, exuberant language, the novel illuminates the world of Bernice Leach, a Barbadian woman, working in the infamous ‘Canadian Domestic Scheme’ as a live-in maid. Oddly situated in the employ of the Burrmanns, a wealthy Jewish-Canadian couple, Bernice becomes privy to some household secrets which serve both she and her friend Dots with cause for amusement and outrage. And when Bernice’s sister Estelle comes over, apparently on holiday from Barbados, her stay has first comic, then tragic results.
The Meeting Point is a poignant study of the clashes, tensions and sheer comedy resulting from the confrontation of opposing lifestyles and cultures. Set in the 1950s, the novel brilliantly captures a portrait of a vital city as a it faces, for the first time, a significant black immigrant presence upon its landscape.
—The New York Times
“A beautiful, comic, innovative, spellbinding and tragic novel. . . . A treat from beginning to end.”
—The Boston Globe
“Zings with life [and] a humorous appreciation of the injustices of today’s world.”
—St. Catherine’s Standard