There is a strong belief among devotees of C.L.R. James that it is not possible to have full comprehension of Caribbean literary art in English without first reading Minty Alley. Although frequently reprinted in the United Kingdom, Minty Alley at last reaches the United States. In this ground-breaking novel, James discerns new forms of society rooted in the oldest of desires and aspirations through the interactions of the characters of Maisie, Haynes, Mrs. Rouse, and Benoit. In the everyday language and unforgettable dialogue James reveals new modes of human relationships. Haynes, a young middle-class lodger at No. 2 Minty Alley, becomes both confidant and judge as he examines the other inhabitants at this address. From his experiences he is made aware of the educated West Indian's impoverishing alienation from society's mainstream. Through Haynes's vivid narration James reveals the rich cultural life on Minty Alley. Haynes, an outsider among people of lower class, knows his fellow lodgers only as they have revealed themselves to him through their speech and actions, yet each has a mysterious inner life.