Being Myself

Being Myself - Martina Navratilova, George Vecsey

I mentioned this already in a status update while reading this book but it really is so much more than just a biography.


Navratilova tells about both her personal life and her professional career but inevitably she provides a lot of background to history of where she grew up, too. As far as I know the history of Czechoslovakia as it was, or the Czech Republic and Slovakia now, if you like, does not feature much in taught history outside of the two countries. And even though many people have heard of the Prague Spring, I found it fascinating to read an account by someone who was actually there.


Of course, Navratilova has always been known for outspokenness about politics and social issues and it is no surprise that these also feature in the book - together with anecdotes about how her no-nonsense approach has landed her in hot water a few times.


Unlike other tennis biographies, Being Myself features tennis but does not dwell on recounting every single match and every single score. Instead she focuses more on people who have influenced her and does this without much name-dropping or mud-raking. 


The only consideration I would make is that the book was published in 1985 and for obvious reasons tells only half the story. However, isn't it amazing to think how much still lay ahead for the woman who wrote this?