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The book may have some cosmetic wear (i.e. creased spine/cover, scratches, curled corners, folded pages, sunburn, stains, minor water damage, bent, slightly torn, damaged binding) - The dust jacket, if present, may be marked, and have considerable heavy wear, or might be missing. - The book might be ex-library copy, and may have the markings and stickers associated from the library - The book may have some highlights/notes/underlined pages - Safe and Secure Mailer - No Hassle Return - Used books may not include supplementary material.
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In this acclaimed memoir, Bliss Broyard, daughter of the literary critic Anatole Broyard, examines her father''s choice to hide his racial identity, and the impact of this revelation on her own life.

Two months before he died, renowned literary critic Anatole Broyard called his grown son and daughter to his side to impart a secret he had kept all their lives and most of his own: he was black. Born in the French Quarter in 1920, Anatole had begun to conceal his racial identity after his family moved to Brooklyn and his parents resorted to "passing" in order to get work. As he grew older and entered the ranks of the New York literary elite, he maintained the favßade.

Now his daughter Bliss tries to make sense of his choices. Seeking out unknown relatives in New York, Los Angeles, and New Orleans, Bliss uncovers the 250-year history of her family in America and chronicles her own evolution from privileged WASP to a woman of mixed-race ancestry.

About the Author

Bliss Broyard is the author of the collection of stories, My Father, Dancing, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the year. Her fiction and essays have been anthologized in Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize Anthology and The Art of the Essay, and have appeared in Grand Street, Ploughshares, the New York Times, Elle magazine, and elsewhere. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.

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4.4 out of 54.4 out of 5
261 global ratings

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Top reviews from the United States

Cybergirl
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Fascinating, well-researched, and well-written
Reviewed in the United States on January 26, 2020
Many years ago, I would occasionally read the articles by writer Anatole Broyard in the NY Times. Of course, I knew nothing of his personal life. So when I saw and read the synopsis for this book, written by his daughter, Bliss Broyard, I was curious--especially about his... See more
Many years ago, I would occasionally read the articles by writer Anatole Broyard in the NY Times. Of course, I knew nothing of his personal life. So when I saw and read the synopsis for this book, written by his daughter, Bliss Broyard, I was curious--especially about his "double life." ONE DROP is fascinating, well-researched, and well-written. I found it interesting that the author embraced her "one drop" of African ancestry with little to no distress. Other people in the same or similar situation have not reacted favorably. Ultimately, ONE DROP ends up being an amazing example of how to investigate one''s ancestry and grapple with the results. This book is a worthy homage to Ms. Broyard''s father.
7 people found this helpful
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Sarah B. Broadbent
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Poignant and wonderful. I read some of the negative reviews and ...
Reviewed in the United States on February 18, 2016
Poignant and wonderful. I read some of the negative reviews and I couldn''t disagree more. I loved the genealogy, the searching. It took me a while to finish (distracted by dime novels) but this thoughtful introspective narrative was beautifully documented and researched.... See more
Poignant and wonderful. I read some of the negative reviews and I couldn''t disagree more. I loved the genealogy, the searching. It took me a while to finish (distracted by dime novels) but this thoughtful introspective narrative was beautifully documented and researched. The experience of race in America is different for many and Broyard captured the dichotomies. It was painful to read of her father''s own racism. She didn''t flinch or hide this striking fact about his views. Ms. Broyard didn''t hide any of the intimacies of her father''s life, and I''m sure that many of them were hard for her to learn. I highly recommend this read.
29 people found this helpful
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Chili Marie
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The many shades of blackness!
Reviewed in the United States on March 12, 2016
Most interesting and well written. I cannot quite articulate what I anticipated in this book, but it exceeds my expectations. I was engrossed in the author''s delivery of juxtaposing history with how it probably affected her ancestors. Ms. Broyard''s voice was one of total... See more
Most interesting and well written. I cannot quite articulate what I anticipated in this book, but it exceeds my expectations. I was engrossed in the author''s delivery of juxtaposing history with how it probably affected her ancestors. Ms. Broyard''s voice was one of total honesty as she reacted to her inability to see herself as a black woman after years of self identity as Caucasian. Yet she tried to alter her self identity to accomodate her new knowledge of what it means to be black in America. It is a GOOD book. I ENJOYED getting to know her California relatives. Their self concepts also illuminated the many shades of blackness.
16 people found this helpful
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Margaret Smith
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
All time favorite non-fiction book
Reviewed in the United States on June 21, 2008
Bliss Broyard is amazing, and I am so glad that she wrote this book. I discovered her existence seeing an excerpt from African American Lives and became curious about her journey. I had just had my own DNA testing done to confirm or dispel a family story about us being... See more
Bliss Broyard is amazing, and I am so glad that she wrote this book. I discovered her existence seeing an excerpt from African American Lives and became curious about her journey. I had just had my own DNA testing done to confirm or dispel a family story about us being American Indian and Scottish, instead of Irish as we''d been told. When my results came in, showing a strong subsaharan African and Egyptian Berber influence (in addition to the Scottish and American Indian parts) I was startled and surprised. I didn''t know what to make of it, or how to incorporate this new knowledge into my self-identity. So, reading Ms. Broyard''s book was amazing for me, because I''d gone through many of the challenges she spoke of. I was somewhat jealous of her ability to connect to relatives and gain so much genealogy information, as I''ve been doing these searches for 10 years and not gotten so much. Her book is a testament to rethinking the memory of her father and making meaning for herself. Her writing is exceptional, and she''s honest, sincere. I wish there were more authors (or people in general!) like Ms. Broyard. Good for her for publishing this! I''ve passed on my copy to other friends who struggle with their multiple cultures and identities, and gifted a copy to a friend who''s interested in his own genealogy. Go Ms. Broyard, and bless you for the courage it took to write this book!
52 people found this helpful
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don d
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Don''t Judge a "Book" by its Cover
Reviewed in the United States on July 10, 2013
I''m interested in genealogy and finding out about as much of my past as possible. This book was a perfect fit especially since as a Caribbeanite my ethnic background is so similar. I pass no judgement on Anatole Broyard''s actions as within my own family are tales of those... See more
I''m interested in genealogy and finding out about as much of my past as possible. This book was a perfect fit especially since as a Caribbeanite my ethnic background is so similar. I pass no judgement on Anatole Broyard''s actions as within my own family are tales of those who did the same thing; immigrants resort to strange survival techniques when it''s necessary. He should have been big enough to confront his children with the story and not left his wife to deal with it. On the other hand, it''s fascinating how the ''dark'' side of the family joined in and protected his identity and became an integral part of his deception, as if they enjoyed his success at pulling off this ruse. It''s a true story filled with family intrigue and history of the southern United States. Kudos to Bliss for her excellent research and great presentation.
14 people found this helpful
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AT
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Bought for a friend who knows the authors father.
Reviewed in the United States on August 14, 2021
My friend felt like it came across as a history lesson and did not capture the spirit of Anatole. She felt like it made him sound like "he was getting away with a lie" and felt like there was a lack of empathy for his reasons to do what he did. Since his choices... See more
My friend felt like it came across as a history lesson and did not capture the spirit of Anatole.

She felt like it made him sound like "he was getting away with a lie" and felt like there was a lack of empathy for his reasons to do what he did. Since his choices where made to improve the oportunities for his family. Not just to improve his lot in life.
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Marina Suter
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
But Bliss Broyard did an amazing scholarly job of researching a lot of the history ...
Reviewed in the United States on January 1, 2015
I wondered how on earth this book was so gigantic, since the story - finding out that her father had been passing for all her life - was somewhat slender. But Bliss Broyard did an amazing scholarly job of researching a lot of the history of a people''s rise to some measure... See more
I wondered how on earth this book was so gigantic, since the story - finding out that her father had been passing for all her life - was somewhat slender. But Bliss Broyard did an amazing scholarly job of researching a lot of the history of a people''s rise to some measure of power. So, although the title is a tiny bit misleading, it doesn''t matter because the stories she tells are important. It''s a clever way of using a personal experience as a springboard to discuss so much more. I learned a lot.
11 people found this helpful
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gailmarie
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I bought this twice
Reviewed in the United States on April 5, 2013
I bought this at a used book store in Seattle and took it on vacation. I read about half of it and then left it behind to make room in my suitcase for other items on the return trip home (it is over 400 pages). But I couldn''t get it out of my head, so I spent the next two... See more
I bought this at a used book store in Seattle and took it on vacation. I read about half of it and then left it behind to make room in my suitcase for other items on the return trip home (it is over 400 pages). But I couldn''t get it out of my head, so I spent the next two years wondering what I had missed. As time went by, though, I forgot Ms. Bliss'' name (yeah, I know, how could I?) and then I heard her piece on NPR''s Moth Radio (February 2013). Armed anew with her name I visited Amazon and re-purchased this book and was glad I did. In fairness, parts of the book were slow reading for me, but overall I found it worth my time .
7 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

Mr. M. Hetep
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The One Drop Controversy
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 23, 2012
Bliss Broyard''s beautifully written and thought provoking book is not only the story about the ''Walter Mitty-esque'' life of her late father Anatole Broyard but also a damning and devastating expose of the legacy of the politics of ''race and identity'' in American society....See more
Bliss Broyard''s beautifully written and thought provoking book is not only the story about the ''Walter Mitty-esque'' life of her late father Anatole Broyard but also a damning and devastating expose of the legacy of the politics of ''race and identity'' in American society. The abolition of slavery and advancements made through the civil rights movements of the 1960s have not completely eradicated the problems caused by the fiction of mind called ''race and identity'' which is nothing but a syllogistic (logical but not true) ideological construct - ''race'' has no biological, genetic or scientific foundation whatsoever! It is indeed sad to read Bliss''s accounts of how people in America are still affected today by the pseudo concept of ''race & identity''. This problem is not going to go away easily and should not be ''swept under the carpet'' but needs to be addressed once and for all so that healing on all sides of the ''racial divide'' can be facilitated; most disheartening is that this may not happen in my life time. For anyone who does not understand why America is such a polarized society, particularly in regards to skin color, then they would do well to purchase and diligently read this book.
Bliss Broyard''s beautifully written and thought provoking book is not only the story about the ''Walter Mitty-esque'' life of her late father Anatole Broyard but also a damning and devastating expose of the legacy of the politics of ''race and identity'' in American society. The abolition of slavery and advancements made through the civil rights movements of the 1960s have not completely eradicated the problems caused by the fiction of mind called ''race and identity'' which is nothing but a syllogistic (logical but not true) ideological construct - ''race'' has no biological, genetic or scientific foundation whatsoever!

It is indeed sad to read Bliss''s accounts of how people in America are still affected today by the pseudo concept of ''race & identity''. This problem is not going to go away easily and should not be ''swept under the carpet'' but needs to be addressed once and for all so that healing on all sides of the ''racial divide'' can be facilitated; most disheartening is that this may not happen in my life time.

For anyone who does not understand why America is such a polarized society, particularly in regards to skin color, then they would do well to purchase and diligently read this book.
2 people found this helpful
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s
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
book review
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 30, 2013
Good enlightening read, an insight to the world at that time and the inequalities which are man made, and to some degree still exists.
Good enlightening read, an insight to the world at that time and the inequalities which are man made, and to some degree still exists.
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D. Borie
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Book not full described
Reviewed in France on January 22, 2016
I was very disappointed to see this practically brand new book arrive covered with a geometric shaped mylar on top that can''t be removed. It''s been perfectly glued on to the dust jacket. What a disappointment!! Ugly!! I wouldn''t have bought it if I would have known it was...See more
I was very disappointed to see this practically brand new book arrive covered with a geometric shaped mylar on top that can''t be removed. It''s been perfectly glued on to the dust jacket. What a disappointment!! Ugly!! I wouldn''t have bought it if I would have known it was like this. Will no longer be ordering from this seller.
I was very disappointed to see this practically brand new book arrive covered with a geometric shaped mylar on top that can''t be removed. It''s been perfectly glued on to the dust jacket. What a disappointment!! Ugly!! I wouldn''t have bought it if I would have known it was like this. Will no longer be ordering from this seller.
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Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Three Stars
Reviewed in Canada on January 16, 2016
Intereting but needed a good editor. Far too much on the very extended famil.
Intereting but needed a good editor. Far too much on the very extended famil.
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Klaus Goltermann
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Familienforschung amerikanisch
Reviewed in Germany on December 18, 2012
Umfassende und anschauliche Darstellung der Forschung nach den Ursprünegne einerFamile und damit der Autorin. Sympathische Erzählung mit vielen Einzelheiten. Nicht nur für Ahnenforscher interessant.
Umfassende und anschauliche Darstellung der Forschung nach den Ursprünegne einerFamile und damit der Autorin.
Sympathische Erzählung mit vielen Einzelheiten. Nicht nur für Ahnenforscher interessant.
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