Book Review: No Crystal Stair

Mairuth Sarsfield grew up in Montreal, Canada. Based on her book No Crystal Stair, Black white relationships played a pivotal role in Montreal’s history. While on a book tour, Mairuth visited Burke’s Bookstore to read from her work and to meet fans. Hers was a successful event that involved an interview on the early Saturday morning  Fresh Air CBC show. Several  familiar themes are threaded through the book … We experience characters attempting to exist in a city that was rife with Anti-Black racism.       

As people are beginning to admit, Black people living in predominantly non-Black societies, experience some kind of racism in action almost every day. As Toni Morrison accurately states : The function of racism is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being. Somebody says you have no language and you spend 20 years proving that you do. Somebody says that your head isn’t shaped properly so you have scientists working on the fact that it is. Somebody says you have no art, so you dredge that up. Somebody says you have no kingdoms, so you dredge that up. None is necessary. There will always be one more thing.

Family, let us focus on why we are here. This is our world and we have the right to enjoy and live fully in it. This is not the time for self- loathing. Let us continue to support, uphold and be generous and kind to each other. 

Get out those books that give you confidence, that make you proud of your heritage. Look at those movies that made you laugh. Immerse yourself in energy infusing activities. Remind yourself that you deserve a Rich and satisfying life. 

Please be reminded that we should not spend our time living the script that someone else wrote for us…It is time for us to write our individual and collectively.

Mairuth Sarsfield: No Crystal Stair. This fascinating novel explores the lives of Blacks coming of age in Little Burgundy in Montreal. Though it comes with its racial and relationship issues it certainly documents the lived experiences of this tightly knit community.

No Crystal Stair will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will remind you that we have been here for a long time and that we too belong here….But most important of all that racism is meant to distract us from living a rich and fully fulfilling life.

Learn More: No Crystal Stair


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Updated on October 14, 2021 6:07 am
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Updated on October 14, 2021 6:07 am

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