Broyard, Sandy

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Broyard, Sandy

PERSONAL: Born in Bronxville, NY; married Anatole Broyard (a literary critic), c. 1961 (died 1990). Education: Attended Mount Holyoke College and Juilliard School.

ADDRESSES: Office—Chilmark, MA. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Random House, 1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.

CAREER: Mental health therapist in Chilmark, MA. Previously taught and performed modern dance.


Standby (memoir), Knopf (New York, NY), 2005.

SIDELIGHTS: The widow of New York Times literary critic Anatole Broyard, Sandy Broyard is a mental health therapist who works on Martha's Vineyard. Her book Standby, which is based on her experiences during and after her husband's losing battle against prostate cancer, is a book about grieving, not a memoir about her famous husband. In writing the text, Broyard sought to help those who are mourning by showing how difficult the process can be for others. She shares her overwhelming pain and anger, which was increased by the subsequent deaths of her brother and a close friend. The book is based on writings Broyard compulsively recorded while in mourning, often jotting down her thoughts on whatever paper was handy. Many of these reflections were written while waiting in the standby line for the Martha's Vineyard ferry, which is how the book got its title.

The result of Broyard's efforts is a difficult but rewarding book, according to reviewers. For example, a writer for Kirkus Reviews, commented that "she skips no details in the story of this dreadful time, just as her husband would have wanted." Library Journal contributor Wilda Williams advised that the book has a "repetitive, boring, and self-absorbed tone," but she credited Broyard for showing a "therapist's compassion." The work was described as "a beautiful rendering of the complexity of mourning," by Annie Tully in Booklist, and a Publishers Weekly reviewer commented, "This brutally honest portrait of grief is often painful, yet still poignant."



Broyard, Sandy, Standby, Knopf (New York, NY), 2005.


Booklist, February 1, 2005, Annie Tully, review of Standby, p. 919.

Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2004, review of Standby, p. 1174.

Library Journal, April 1, 2005, Wilda Williams, review of Standby, p. 103.

Publishers Weekly, December 20, 2004, review of Standby, p. 46.


Martha's Vineyard Gazette Online, (June 10, 2005), Chris Burrell, "Twelve Steps: Vineyard House Plans Expansion at New Campus."