Black and white photograph of American writer and critic Anatole Broyard.

Anatole Broyard

(1920 - 1990)

Having served in the U.S. Army as a troop-transport officer during World War II, Anatole Broyard attended the New School for Social Research in New York City, where he observed that, among the professors, the “Germans were sometimes stunned into a kind of stupor by an ordinary insight, which they would then try to elevate into a philosophy or a system,” and opened a bookstore in Greenwich Village with the money he had made in the Tokyo black market. Journalist, essayist, and influential literary critic, he was a regular contributor to the New York Times from 1971 to 1986, reviewing novels by William S. Burroughs, John Updike, and Marilynne Robinson, among others. Broyard died of cancer at the age of seventy in 1990.

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Travel is like adultery: one is always tempted to be unfaithful to one’s own country. To have imagination is inevitably to be dissatisfied with where you live.

—Anatole Broyard, 1989

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