You Alone are Dancing
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.
Brenda Flanagan
ISBN number
Fiction, Novel
Country setting
Trinidad and Tobago
Imaginary Caribbean
Publication date
01 Oct 1990

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.


Brenda Flanagan

Brenda Flanagan was born in Trinidad in 1949, the twelfth of fourteen children in an impoverished family. Her father was a barman, her mother a laundress. Brenda Flanagan recalls having a hunger for involvement with the wider world and dreamt of being a writer. She started writing poetry at the age of ten and by thirteen she was singing calypsos and earning money for it. However, at the age of fourteen she had to leave school to help support her family, by then only parented by her mother. She worked for a time in a factory, then was taken on as a trainee reporter of The Nation, the newspaper of the then ruling People's National Movement led by Dr. Eric Williams.
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