“THE MASTER OF A PEN:” Rewriting Robinson Crusoe in the Life and the Adventures of a Haunted Convict
Journal of Transatlantic Studies
This article argues that The Life and the Adventures of a Haunted Convict, the earliest known prison memoir by an African American, is an adaptation of the prototypical adventure narrative, The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. Through his retelling, Reed constructs a counter-narrative that revises the straightforward relationality between literacy and personhood. A self-fashioned Robinson in a world who treats him like Friday, Reed lays out with painstaking vividness the development of double-consciousness and the consequent criminalization of agency. The Life and the Adventures of a Haunted Convict marks a new addition to the archive of the African-Americanization of British literature and resonates with the crisis of mass incarceration in the USA today.
African-American, Counter-narrative, Incarceration, Literacy, Robinson Crusoe
English and Comparative Literature; Humanities
Rebecca Kling. "“THE MASTER OF A PEN:” Rewriting Robinson Crusoe in the Life and the Adventures of a Haunted Convict" Journal of Transatlantic Studies (2022): 251-273. https://doi.org/10.1057/s42738-022-00099-0