You Alone are Dancing

Written by Chris Searle for Morning Star on

In Brenda Flanagan’s novel of Trinidad, You Alone Are Dancing, Rosehill - a village of squatters - is attacked by a US mining corporation and the profiteers and political sharks of its own government. Both want the land that the people have lived upon and farmed for generations.
Inside this central conflict, the love relationship between two young people, Sonny and Beatrice, flares and dies, as they both in their different ways seek to stand up to the new imperialism that is wrecking their people’s lives. For the new government they thought was theirs, proves to belong to others: 'We thought when we get we own people in power things would change. Change what? Is the same old pappyshow.'

This is Brenda Flanagan’s first novel, and she proves to be a powerful creator of dialogue. Her people’s frustrations, anger, hopes and humour come teeming out in her speech, making this a work of impressive oral strength and authenticity, and painting a vivid and raw portrait of neo-colonial society and the struggle of its working people, fighting for justice from within its very gut.