Days of Grace: A Memoir

Days of Grace: A Memoir

4.0 6
by Arthur Ashe, Arnold Rampersad

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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....


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....

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.
Library Journal
Days of Grace begins with an understandably annoyed Ashe holding a TV press conference to preempt a newspaper report that he has been stricken with the AIDS virus. After a diatribe against the invasion of his privacy, Ashe relates how he managed to launch a tennis career that led him to international fame and fortune while others fought for equality. The late tennis star then takes up the matter of apartheid in South Africa. All the autobiographical observations of his career are, like his social comments (e.g., being black is worse than having AIDS), intelligently thought out. Finally, the fatherly words of advice he hopes daughter Camera will read and follow after his death give this audiobook an appeal to a wide audience. Actor Joe Morton provides a fine narration.-- James Dudley, Copiague, N.Y.
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
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)

Product Details

San Val
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
4.38(w) x 6.98(h) x 1.25(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."

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Days of Grace 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
ReadAllAboutIt More than 1 year ago
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.
MICHAEL COVINGTON More than 1 year ago
This book is inspiring and moving for a teen like me
BC-Eagle-95 More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.'
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.