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One Drop: My Father's Hidden Life--A Story of Race and Family Secrets (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

A riveting memoir of a woman who finds out her father, literary
critic Anatole Broyard, had been “passing” his whole life to conceal his
racial identity, it also includes a lot of history of New Orleans as
she traces her father’s roots. As a city with such a huge melting pot of
cultures and also a deep-south history of slavery, its past is complex
and ambiguous. Broyard weaves this narrative into her family’s personal
story for a fascinating exploration of race in America.

— Consuelo


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.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780316163507
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: September 1st, 2007
Pages: 528