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Abstract

This essay looks at the reception of the story of former slave Sylvia Dubois, first by her biographer C.W. Larison and second by contemporary literary critics. It examines the power dynamics in the text and in its interpretation, in order to reclaim Sylvia’s authority and integrity in relation to the history she puts forward. The essay addresses some of the problematic ways the text has been previously explored, while also emphasizing the powerful oral and direct nature of the writing.

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