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Days of Grace Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 1994

4.4 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Tennis star and political activist Ashe's eloquent autobiography was a 10-week PW bestseller.
Copyright 1994 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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (May 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345386817
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345386816
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Mass Market Paperback
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.the thing that really stood out in this book to me was the fact when he said that he could deal with AIDS better than Racism.after reading that part in the book you have to wonder has this country come far at all? MR.Ashe was a well off Man and he was still dealing with Racists views and what not.this is a Man of Strength&Courage.he stood for something.he always gave a 100% in everything he did.this book is very uplifting.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I cannot remember the last time I started reading a book and enjoying it as much as I did, and then half way through the book I could barely continue on. Arthur Ashe did this to me in his autobiography. What happened really, I couldn't say, but I was all praise and looked forward to reading more and more, and then I couldn't wait to be done. Strange indeed.

The book started off great. Ashe gave us some insight into his world and into various aspects of his life that is not well known. He talked about his days as the captain of the American Davis Cup team, which was enlightening and revealing. He tells the intimate details of how, why and what happened when he discovered, as well as was discovered, to have aids. The opening chapter had me gripped to the seat as I was drawn in from the first few words. Amidst all this was Ashe's eloquence and ability to calmly and eloquently tell his story and impart who he was at the same time.

But then it became droll and boring. Ashe started talking about day to day stuff and imparting common conversations, thoughts and actions with too much importance. He would talk about going for a walk, or a talk he had with his daughter. He devoted several chapters to talking about various issues that didn't have anything to do with him but was more of a long winded explanation to help clarify a one sentence thought that he had. For example, he talked for almost a whole chapter about the likelihood of gay and lesbian athletes in various sports. Finally, as much as this seems touching, the letter at the end to his daughter sealed the deal and made this a mostly boring biography to read.

What we didn't see was his struggle with racism and segregation as he grew up in those troubled times of America.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
It was difficult for me to get over the sadness of this work. I wanted to contact his family to offer my condolences for the loss of a man I didn't really know. He was much more than his stoic public image, as the book indicates. I agonized over the final pages, actually his final days, but was left with a profound sense of peace and hope. I hope his loved ones are well...A stirring, human slice of literature and a glimpse at one man's painful physical, but at the same time spiritual, odyssey. It made me think and changed me. A great work which should be required reading in our schools.
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