Anatole Broyard Biography
Birthday: July 16, 1920 (Cancer)
Born In: New Orleans, Louisiana
Anatole Broyard spent most of his life as a writer, literary critic, teacher and editor. Broyard worked as a book critic for the New York Times Book Review for 15 years followed by an additional three years as an editor. While teaching creative writing at the college level he continued to write short stories, personal essays and book reviews. His essay, “Portrait of the Inauthentic Negro,” published in a 1950 issue of ‘Commentary’ magazine, took a look at black men who passed for white to obtain opportunities which a black man of that time was not typically afforded. Ironically, though most around him were unaware, Broyard himself lived as a white man ignoring his mixed race heritage. He was working on his autobiography when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. So he set it aside to write a collection of articles about illness and death; the pieces were published in the New York Times Magazine and The Book Review. Two years after his death the articles were compiled and printed in a book called ‘Intoxicated by My Illness: And Other Writings on Life and Death’. He was criticized a lot after his death for failing to acknowledge his African-American ancestry and passing as white.