The Ladies are Upstairs : A Collection of Stories
by Merle Collins
From the 1930s through the dawning of a new century, these tender and moving stories underscore living life with style and hidden steel despite one’s circumstances and warn against disregarding the past struggles of others. Doux Thibaut negotiates a hard life on the Caribbean island of Paz, confronting the shame of poverty and illegitimacy, the hazards of sectarianism on an island segregated into Catholics and Protestants, and the injustices of racism and classism. As an old lady moving between the homes of her children in Boston and New York, Doux wonders whether they and her grandchildren really appreciate what her engagement with life has taught her. In The Ladies Are Upstairs, Merle Collins has created a mosaic novel from these stories of a Caribbean woman’s life, demanding that such lives not be forgotten.