Seeing Serena

Scribner. Jun. 2021. 272p. ISBN 9781982127886. $26. SPORTS
Marzorati’s (Late to the Ball) newest book follows Serena Williams, arguably the top female athlete in the world, as she returned to competitive tennis after the birth of her daughter in September 2017. Marzorati, a tennis writer for the New Yorker and a contributing editor to Racquet, did not interview Williams for this book; instead, he focused on observing her and talking to the coaches and competitors around her. While it is helpful to get an outside perspective, it is obvious that Williams’s voice is missing from the book, especially to counter Marzorati’s often critical tone. This is particularly apparent in discussions her off-the-court pursuits or her use of social media. Tennis fans, especially, will be interested in the author’s conversations with different professionals and coaches about the intricate details of Williams’s game. The level of this analysis is quite impressive; the depth of detail may be too much for a casual observer of the sport.
VERDICT At times, Mazorati’s critical tone takes away from the reading experience. Readers might get a fuller picture of Williams’s career by accompanying this book with the HBO series Being Serena, which is told in her own voice.
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