"Succeeds brilliantly....He lives as a writer and we are the wealthier for it."
THE WASHINGTON POST BOOK WORLD
Anatyole Broyad, long-time book critic, book review editor, and essayist for THE NEW YORK TIMES wants to be remembered. He will be, with this collection of irreverent, humorous essays he wrote concerning the ordeals of life and death--many of which were written during the battle with cancer that led to his death in 1990.
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Anatole Broyard was a book critic, columnist, and editor for the New York Times for 18 years. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Intoxicated by My Illness and Kafka Was the Rage: A Greenwich Village Memoir. Broyard died in 1990 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.From Kirkus Reviews:
Writer and New York Times book critic Broyard died of cancer in 1990. Here is a slender volume of writings he produced on the subject of his illness itself, filled out with a handful of earlier pieces on ``The Literature of Death,'' and ending with the grippingly autobiographical short story ``What the Cystoscope Said,'' written by Broyard after his own father's death, also of cancer, in 1948. In 1981, Broyard wrote that ``the vocabulary of death is anticlimactic. It seems that we die in clich‚s.'' In his own struggle with illness and the death that it foreshadowed, however, he summoned up an intellectual rigor that attempted to deny either clich‚ or passivity. ``As a patient I'm a mere beginner,'' he wrote: ``Yet I am a critic, and being critically ill, I thought I might accept the pun and turn it on my condition.'' And so his effort to think his illness into submission begins. ``My intention,'' he writes in a journal entry, ``is to show people who are ill'' that ``[they] can make a game, a career, even an art form of opposing their illness.'' Broyard's own ``art form'' is one, as it always was, that draws on an astonishing breadth of learning and that positively bristles with aphoristic perceptions. ``Soul is the part of you that you summon up in emergencies,'' he writes; and, on doctors and patients: ``The patient is always on the brink of revelation, and he needs an amanuensis.'' This is not Dylan Thomas's raging against the night, but instead the consistent and steady application of the thinking mind against the awful austerities and urgencies of death. ``Writing a book,'' says Broyard, ``would be a counterpoint to my illness. It would force the cancer to go through my character before it can get to me.'' Courageous, vintage Broyard. The trouble is, though, that death was the winner, and the reader is left not with Broyard's ``intoxication,'' but with regret, loss, and a certain chill and ungainly fear. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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