Days Of Grace: A Memoir Hardcover – Jun 15 1993
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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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
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 morePublished on April 18 2004 by My Own AMZN
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 morePublished on March 28 2004 by Tony J. Campbell
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 morePublished on Oct. 15 2002
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 morePublished on Sept. 29 2002
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 morePublished on Aug. 1 2002
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 morePublished on Jan. 19 2001
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 morePublished on Nov. 29 2000 by Nelson Jimenez
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 morePublished on July 18 2000
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