Books by Arthur Ashe

DAYS OF GRACE by Arthur Ashe
Released: June 23, 1993

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 of photos—not seen) (First printing of 150,000) Read full book review >