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Days Of Grace: A Memoir [Hardcover]

Arthur Ashe
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 15 1993
The late tennis champion, social activist, and AIDS victim tells his remarkable, courageous story from his career as a black tennis player to his battle against AIDS. 150,000 first printing. $150,000 ad/promo. Tour.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In this inspirational, eloquent autobiographical memoir, tennis great Ashe, who died earlier this year, describes his battle against AIDS, which he contracted from a blood transfusion during open-heart surgery, and tells of his struggle against racism. Written with Rampersad, biographer of Langston Hughes, the first-person narrative negates the conventional image of Ashe as cold and aloof, giving us instead a complex, vulnerable, emotional man. The death of his mother when he was six left "an emptiness in my soul." Ashe writes of his dependence on his wife Jeanne and recalls growing up under segregation in Virginia, which motivated his activist opposition to South Africa's apartheid. Politically outspoken, Ashe defends the distribution of condoms in schools, attacks demagogues like Al Sharpton and criticizes "the decline of the African American community" and its "new order . . . based squarely on revenge, not justice, with morality discarded." The volume closes with a deeply moving letter to his six-year-old daughter Camera. Photos. 150,000 first printing; BOMC and QPB alternates.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA-An introspective and poignant book that is well-worth reading. With the help of Langston Hughes's biographer, Ashe has written a very absorbing account of his life. He tells of his mother's death when he was six years old and the strong influence of his loving but demanding father that stood him in good stead when he entered the all-white world of tennis in the 1960s. He recounts his athletic career and the difficulties he experienced on the court with players such as John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors. But the major portion of the book focuses on the 1980s, during which time he had two heart operations and contracted the AIDS virus via a blood transfusion. Although not a homosexual, Ashe became a sympathetic activist for the gay community. He was very vocal in his last years, speaking out against prejudice towards AIDS victims, racism, apartheid, and U.S. policy towards Haitians wishing to enter this country. This is the inspiring story of a premier athlete and a fine human being who cared passionately about his profession, his family, and the causes he embraced.
Pat Royal, Crossland High School, Camp Springs, MD
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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First Sentence
IF ONE'S REPUTATION is a possession, then of all my possessions, my reputation means most to me. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars this book is great Oct. 16 2002
By Yousif
Format:School & Library Binding
The book "Days of Grace: A Memoir
by Arthur Ashe, Arnold Rampersad" is a great book. I thought both Arthur Ashe and Arnold Rampersad did a great job with writing the book. The book mainly talks about Arthur Ashe's struggle with aids. The book also talks about how his life and tennis career was affected by aids and how he dealt with it.
The book talks about Arthur Ashe's struggle to cope with aids. Arthur Ashe's struggle with aids was an eye opener. The book also talked about Arthur Ashe donating to charities and foundations dedicated to contributing aid to aids patients.
Arthur Ashe's tennis career was heavily effected by aids. Although he received the disease accidentally by blood transfusion, Arthur Ashe talks about the importance of protection during sex or abstinence.
Overall I thought the book was a good book to read. Sometimes the chapters tend to drag which causes the book to be boring at times, but overall it is a very good book to read, and I recommend people to read it. I gave the book 4 out of 5 stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Beautiful Oct. 20 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
'Days of Grace' is possibly the most moving biography, if not book, I have ever read, by a man whose courage, determination and decency towards fellow man have left me in awe.
The book contains moments of humour, of deep sadness and of joy, and throughout there is a vein of truthfulness that is unparalleled in anything I have ever read. The experiences that Ashe had in his life were so many and so varied, from the highs of winning three Grand Slam's to falling ill to heart disease and AIDS. His relationships with his parents, his wife and daughter, tennis players including Connors and McEnroe, and with his peers in segregated Virginia are all explored thoughtfully and with careful reflection.
In short, Ashe's book offers an account of his life, his beliefs and his final thoughts on the world and his life. Ashe triumphed in sport to become wealthy and well known, but suffered from racial prejudice as a child and terrible diseases as an adult. Yet not once did wealth change his outlook or basic lifestyle nor did he give up in the face of racism or death. Instead Ashe took another path, the noble path - he showed deep respect and understanding towards his fellow man, he used his wealth and his disease to help thousands of others and he never lost site of the moral lessons he had learned as child.
'Days of Grace' is a remarkable book from Arthur Ashe, an extraordinary man.
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4.0 out of 5 stars a tad too voyeuristic Jan. 31 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
We live in a day and age when the President of the United States tells us what kind of underwear he sports and, through a string of unfortunate circumstances, we find out about even his genital abnormalities. He famously attests to feeling our pain, tears up at the drop of a hat and bites his own lip almost as often as those of the women he accosts. No emotion, real or faked, is allowed to go unmentioned. No facet of his life is too private to remain hidden. He seems to be incapable of embarassment, devoid of shame, almost proud of personal scandal. Everything--good, bad & indifferent--is on display and no thought is given to how the public and his peers perceive him. His life is about personal gratification and little else.
How different this is from the example of George Washington. As Gordon Wood has written in an excellent essay in the Virginia Historical Review, to Washington reputation was of paramount importance. Nothing mattered more to him than how he was perceived by his fellow men. This obsession fostered in him a moral rectitude that has served to make him seem somehow less than human, as if he had become a statue before he was even dead. But it also made him a world historical figure, a man of unquestioned greatness. And if our modern sensibilities find something vainglorious in his vanity and we feel a certain lack of connection with him because of his seeming perfection, at least he has maintained an aura of mystery and a sterling reputation for two centuries and counting.
What's the point of all this? Just that Arthur Ashe seems to me to have been the George Washington of modern sport, an accomplishment that was all the more notable at a time when his fellow atheletes were increasingly emulating Bill Clinton.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A MAN OF DIGNITY AND GRACE Sept. 14 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I met this gentleman briefly. We were travelling on "Southern Airlines" between Atlanta and Birmingham. Both the man and the airline are gone. He was gracious, a man of dignity. As his memoir unfolds one can't help but be inspired by his example of courage, discipline and responsibility. Many knew him as a great tennis champion, but the book reveals the man, a father, a husband, a social activist, a religious spiritual being. It is a poignant testament to a beautiful being. He died of aids contracted through a blood transfusion. Most touching is his letter to his daughter, in which he says," Don't be angry with me if I am not there in person, alive and well, when you need me......... whereever I am when you feel sick at heart and weary of ife, or when you stumble and fall and don't know if you can get up again, think of me. I will be watching and smiling and cheering you on." This is a man who mastered his destiny. The book contains beautiful photos shared by his wife, a gifted photographer. The book is a remarkable legacy to his family and to all who recognize greatness. Excellent and enjoyable reading.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Inspiring
The title perfectly describes this book. We learn of his life and how he conducted himself as a person -- being a gentleman and a citizen of the world. Read more
Published on April 18 2004 by Wally
5.0 out of 5 stars Profound
The book was a wonderful read it was deep thought provoking happy and ultimately sad. The title could also have been called A Journey In Courage. Read more
Published on March 28 2004 by Tony J. Campbell
4.0 out of 5 stars The book is great
I thought that this book was a great book. Arthur Ashe portrayed the role of a famous sports figure who suffers from aids perfectly. Read more
Published on Oct. 15 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars Health, race, sex, politics, religion, family...
This is a sad yet uplifting memoir from a great man who was taken from us much too soon. Arthur speaks with dignity and intelligence on all the aforementioned topics and more. Read more
Published on Sept. 29 2002
2.0 out of 5 stars This was a BORING book!!
This book was on my high school summer reading list and I think that this was not an appropriate book for a freshman reading list. Read more
Published on Aug. 1 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars The Reflection of the Life of a Star!!
This book is one of the greatest books I have read. The flashbacks of all the important memories of his life reflect that he was a man who wanted to be known as something more... Read more
Published on Jan. 19 2001
3.0 out of 5 stars A man of grace.
Arthur Ashe led a wonderful life but also a heartbreaking one. Not only did he have to deal with racial prejudice but also with a major illness called AIDS. Read more
Published on Nov. 29 2000 by Nelson Jimenez
5.0 out of 5 stars The Burden of Race
I was teaching when Arthur Ashe grew up. As I look back it is heart-breaking for what he faced. Intelligent, interested in helping others and facing life positively he is unique. Read more
Published on July 18 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars very Powerful
Arthur Ashe was a class act period.the same can be said of his wife as well.the Brother was very Intelligent and well-spoken and a great tennis player by the way. Read more
Published on Feb. 5 2000 by mistermaxxx08
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