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Victory by Simile

Andrea Brady: Phillis Wheatley’s Evolution, 4 January 2024

The Odyssey of Phillis Wheatley: A Poet’s Journeys through American Slavery and Independence 
by David Waldstreicher.
Farrar, Straus, 480 pp., £24, March 2023, 978 0 8090 9824 8
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... of sin. Is this ‘artful whiteface mockery of pious racists’? In his new biography of Wheatley, David Waldstreicher encourages us to think so, and to read the lines in a ‘mocking or satirical instead of a beseeching voice’, so that we can hear Wheatley ‘become the organic intellectual of the enslaved’.The poem shows Wheatley working within ...

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