One Drop by Bliss Broyard
My Father's Hidden Life--A Story of Race and Family Secrets

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Synopsis

Two months before he died of cancer, renowned literary critic Anatole Broyard called his grown son and daughter to his side, intending to reveal a secret he had kept all their lives and most of his own: he was black. But even as he lay dying, the truth was too difficult for him to share, and it was his wife who told Bliss that her WASPy, privileged Connecticut childhood had come at a price. Ever since his own parents, New Orleans Creoles, had moved to Brooklyn and began to "pass" in order to get work, Anatole had learned to conceal his racial identity. As he grew older and entered the ranks of the New York literary elite, he maintained the façade. Now his daughter Bliss tries to make sense of his choices and the impact of this revelation on her own life. She searches out the family she never knew in New York and New Orleans, and considers the profound consequences of racial identity. With unsparing candor and nuanced insight, Broyard chronicles her evolution from sheltered WASP to a woman of mixed race ancestry.
 

About Bliss Broyard

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Bliss Broyard's stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories 1998, The Pushcart Anthology, and Grand Street. She lives in New York.
 
Published September 27, 2007 by Little, Brown and Company. 528 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for One Drop

The New York Times

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Bliss Broyard explores her father’s complicated relationship to questions of race.

Oct 21 2007 | Read Full Review of One Drop: My Father's Hidden ...

The New York Times

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As this insightful book makes clear, Anatole Broyard left a legacy of racial confusion and great autobiographical material, not necessarily in that order.

Sep 27 2007 | Read Full Review of One Drop: My Father's Hidden ...

The New York Times

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Bliss Broyard explores her father’s complicated relationship to questions of race.

Oct 21 2007 | Read Full Review of One Drop: My Father's Hidden ...

Bookmarks Magazine

Although a prominent public figure, with a reputation as an insightful literary critic and editor for the New York Times in the 1970s and 1980s, Anatole Broyard kept one secret until the end of his life that stunned even his children: he had been "passing" as white even though he was born to Creo...

Dec 03 2007 | Read Full Review of One Drop: My Father's Hidden ...

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