ABSTRACT

THERE ARE ALWAYS at least two people competing for control over the story of a life. Sometimes they are the biographer and the subject, sometimes the biographer and the guardians of the subject's estate. Even m autobiography, there is struggle between the retrospectively narrating self and the person, now gone, who once lived. And of course, the autobiography of a former slave offers the story of a life that has literally—or rather, legally—belonged to someone else.