An award-winning author attempts to become a nationally competitive tennis player—at the age of sixty—in this “soulful meditation on aging, companionship, and the power of self-improvement” (The Wall Street Journal).
Being a man or a woman in your early sixties is different than it was a generation or two ago, at least for the more fortunate of us. We aren’t old…yet. But we sense it coming: Careers are winding down, kids are gone, parents are dying (friends, too), and our bodies are no longer youthful or even middle-aged. Learning to play tennis in your fifties is no small feat, but becoming a serious, competitive tennis player at the age of sixty is a whole other matter. It requires training the body to defy age, and to methodically build one’s game—the strokework, footwork, strategy, and mental toughness.
Gerry Mazorati had the strong desire to lead an examined physical life, to push his body into the “encore” of middle age. In Late to the Ball Mazorati writes vividly about his difficulties, frustrations, and triumphs of becoming a seriously good tennis player. He takes on his quest with complete vigor and absolute determination to see it through, providing a rich, vicarious experience, involving the science of aging, his existential battle with time, and the beautiful, mysterious game of tennis. “Enjoyable…crisp and clean” (Publishers Weekly), Late to the Ball is also captivating evidence that the rest of the Baby Boomer generation, now between middle age and old age, can find their own quest and do the same.
Gerald Marzorati was the editor of
The New York Times Magazine from 2003 until 2010. He previously worked as an editor at
Harper’s magazine and
The New Yorker. He is the author of
Late to the Ball and
A Painter of Darkness, which won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for a first book of nonfiction. His writing about tennis has appeared in
New York Times and on NewYorker.com.