Days of Grace: A Memoir

( 6 )


"Touching and courageous...All of it--the man, the life, the book--is rare and beautiful."
DAYS OF GRACE is an inspiring memoir of a remarkable man who was the true embodiment of courage, elegance, and the spirit to fight: Arthur Ashe--tennis champion, social activist, and person with AIDS. Frank, revealing, touching--DAYS OF GRACE is the story of a man felled to soon. It remains as his legacy to ...
See more details below
Paperback (Mass Market Paperback - Reissue)
$7.99 price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (75) from $1.99   
  • New (7) from $4.40   
  • Used (68) from $1.99   
Days of Grace

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$7.99 price


"Touching and courageous...All of it--the man, the life, the book--is rare and beautiful."
DAYS OF GRACE is an inspiring memoir of a remarkable man who was the true embodiment of courage, elegance, and the spirit to fight: Arthur Ashe--tennis champion, social activist, and person with AIDS. Frank, revealing, touching--DAYS OF GRACE is the story of a man felled to soon. It remains as his legacy to us all....

A tireless crusader for racial and social justice, a triumphant star in the all-white world of professional tennis, an outspoken voice on AIDS issues--Arthur Ashe was all of these and more. Gone too soon, Ashe has left behind an eloquent testament to his deepest beliefs with this book. "Rarely has a man been so in touch with his feelings."--The Boston Globe

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's 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.
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
John Mort
Arthur Ashe's death in February from pneumonia related to his chronic heart disease and AIDS gives a special poignancy to his memoir. Yet Days of Grace, written with the help of Rampersad, Langston Hughes' biographer, would have been interesting in any case. In the 1960s, Ashe broke the whites-only barriers of tennis to become the most successful Davis Cup player ever. John McEnroe, under Ashe's captaincy, later broke Ashe's record. Unlike McEnroe or Jimmy Connors, however, Ashe was cool on the court and reserved--even shy--when meeting the public. He did for tennis what Jackie Robinson did for baseball, but activism was difficult for him. Ashe recalls a conversation with Jesse Jackson, in which Jackson observed, "Arthur, you're just not arrogant enough." Ashe's memoir concentrates on the 1980s, during which he underwent two heart operations; the second involved the transfusion that gave him AIDS. Ashe was not gay, though contracting AIDS made him sympathethic to gay athletes and gay causes; his chapter on sexuality--though in some ways gratuitous--shows Ashe at his most perceptive. Ashe even considers all sides of an issue that hurt him: his "outing" by USA Today. Not least, Ashe's book succeeds as an exemplary sports memoir, rendering in detail his difficulties with McEnroe and Connors in Davis Cup competition. Ashe was a classy athlete, and his last words are gentlemanly and brave. He concludes with a message for his young daughter, Camera. She'll be proud of her father.
Kirkus Reviews
A genuinely affecting testament from the quietly activist champion-athlete who died young this past February. With an unobtrusive assist from Rampersad (The Life of Langston Hughes, 1988), Ashe offers a thoughtful, if episodic, appreciation of his well-spent life. Opening with a replay of the distressing events leading up to his dramatic disclosure in April 1992 that he'd contracted AIDS from a blood transfusion following open-heart surgery ten years earlier, the author takes a leisurely and comfortably digressive stroll down memory lane, evenhandedly recalling—among other matters—just what it was like to be the first black to compete successfully in the predominantly white world of big-time tennis. The winner of three Grand Slam titles, Ashe developed heart disease that ended his pro career while still near the top of his game. Subsequently appointed captain of America's Davis Cup team, he proved there can be fulfilling life after sports. A low-key, albeit effective, advocate of racial justice and allied causes, the globe-trotting author enjoyed an uncommonly felicitous personal life. With time out for candid commentary on fellow touring pros (Connors, McEnroe, Smith, et al.), he includes a host of heartfelt tributes to his wife, parents, and others who helped him along an upward path. With considerable eloquence and dignity, Ashe also affirms the do-as- you-would-be-done-by precepts that sustained him. He closes with a poignant letter to his young daughter, which, though written in anticipation of death, looks to the future with some hope, as well as backward to her strong family roots. A class act that, sadly, will have no encore. (Thirty-two pages ofphotos—not seen)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345386816
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/28/1994
  • Series: Black History Titles Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 136,448
  • Lexile: 1160L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 4.21 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Joe Morton has appeared in the films Of Mice and Men, Forever Young and Terminator 2, and starred in Brother from Another Planet. On television, he appeared in "Equal Justice" and currently stars in producer Robert DeNiro's new anthology series "Tribeca."
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 29, 2011

    Such a wealth of inpiration

    Hands down Arthur Ashe is the greatest example of what an athlete should be. Days of Grace should be mandatory for any rookie entering a professional sport. I miss you Mr. Ashe...there still is no one like you in sports.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 15, 2011


    This book is inspiring and moving for a teen like me

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 9, 2009

    Arthur Ashe was more than just a tennis player.

    If you never had the opportunity to watch Arthur Ashe play tennis, or did not know what this man did for the game of tennis, this book is a wonderful starting point. But it gives you something more than just an accounting of his prolific career. And it is more than a black man talking about being black in a white-majority sport or country. Simply put it is a candid view into a very complex, compassionate and courageous man's life, and about the relationships that helped him mature and grow throughout his life. Take the time to learn about this man, his fight for respect both on and off the court, and his battle with AIDS. And see how a humble person can make a world of difference in so many lives both during and after his life on earth. He was more than just a tennis player.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2008

    By Warriors Book Fan

    Arthur Ashe is a true inspiration. Before this book, I hardly knew anything about him. But after reading this book, sharing his experiences, I can understand him more. I was not looking forward to reading this book for school but, 'Bravo. Bravo.'

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2007

    A reviewer

    I had to read this book for school and it ruined my vacation. It sucked . A LOT.It was boring, redundant and it could not capture my attention in the slightest.The story could have been interesting and was moving, but his writing was not captivating.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2004

    Brilliant....Real...From the Heart

    What a wonderful book from a wonderful human, who worked all his life to make equality in this world. Not just his little place, but the world: Africa, Aids, etc. Arthur was my tennis hero growing up. Even today I look to him still as my hero and role model. Black, white or purple it does not matter, Arthur was what we all want to be. To write this book while dealing with the Aids virsus is a great testamony to his character and love for man kind. Not a woe is me kind of story, but one of forgivenss and love for all to read and practice. Alot of great spiritual books are written by men and women the world over. But for the truth of reality forlife,nothing matches Arthur's humanity,compassion and vision for the future. Read this and you will be touched and changed forever.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)