Voices of the Fugitives: Runaway Slave Stories and Their Fictions of Self-Creation

Synopsis

African American fugitive slave narratives are receiving growing amounts of attention for their literary and historical value. This book examines the techniques the slave narrative writers used to authorize and rhetorically create themselves in their writings. By examining such issues as voice and identity formation, the volume demonstrates how identity may be seen as a cultural fabrication. Former slave narrators used a series of masking and doubling techniques to address their experiences as African Americans. This book crosses the boundaries between literary criticism and historical study by examining the tensions between generic conventions and the impulses that created and reinforced them.