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You Alone Are Dancing

Authors: Brenda Flanagan

Published by Peepal Tree Press

ISBN: 9780948833335

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Threatened by land speculators and ignored by a corrupt and uncaring government, the people of Roseville begin a fight for survival. In the midst of this struggle, Sonny Allen and Beatrice Salandy, burdened by the community's expectations and their own ambitions, have to work out their commitments to each other. Set on the fictional island of Santabella, You Alone are Dancing is a lyrical ballad woven from the villager's collective voices, though when a grievous wrong is done to Beatrice, she discovers the harsh truth of the novel's title.

Two kinds of crime are contrasted in this novel: the crimes of the wealthy and powerful and those of the poor. The first, the theft of village land by land speculators and a rape, go unpunished, until Beatrice takes the law into her own hands.

Brenda Flanagan’s novel takes place in a calypso world of bobol and tricksterish deceptions and when the villagers of Roseville can take no more and pelt the visiting PM, Melda makes up an instant calypso to celebrate the occasion. It is a good one, not surprisingly when the author, by the age of thirteen, was singing calypsos and earning money for it.

"Every character lives and breathes... a captivating novel."
Roberta Mock

Trinidad-born Brenda Flanagan teaches Creative Writing, Caribbean and African American Literatures at Davidson College, North Carolina. She is also a United States cultural ambassador, and has served in Kazakstan, Chad and Panama.
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