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 <_st13a_place _w3a_st="on"><_st13a_state _w3a_st="on">Connecticut childhood had come at a price. Ever since his own parents, New Orleans Creoles, had moved to <_st13a_place _w3a_st="on">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 <_st13a_place _w3a_st="on"><_st13a_state _w3a_st="on">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 <_st13a_state _w3a_st="on">New York and <_st13a_city _w3a_st="on"><_st13a_place _w3a_st="on">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.