The Last Days of Roger Federer: And Other Endings

The Last Days of Roger Federer Cover
Primary Author: 
Dyer, Geoff
Binding Type: 
Publication Date: 
Tuesday, May 2, 2023
List price: $18.00

One of Esquire’s best books of spring 2022

An extended meditation on late style and last works from “one of our greatest living critics” (Kathryn Schulz, New York).

How and when do artists and athletes know that their careers are coming to an end? What if the end comes early in a writer’s life? How to keep going even as the ability to do so diminishes? In this ingeniously structured investigation, Geoff Dyer sets his own encounter with late middle age against the last days and last works of writers, painters, musicians, and sports stars who’ve mattered to him throughout his life. With playful charm and penetrating intelligence, he considers Friedrich Nietzsche’s breakdown in Turin, Bob Dylan’s reinventions of old songs, J.M.W. Turner’s proto-abstract paintings of blazing light, Jean Rhys’s late-life resurgence, and John Coltrane’s final works.

Ranging from Burning Man to Beethoven, from Eve Babitz to William Basinski, and from Annie Dillard to Giorgio de Chirico, Dyer’s study of last things is also a book about how to go on living with art and beauty—and the sudden rejuvenation offered by books, films, and music discovered late in life. Praised by Kathryn Schulz as “one of our greatest living critics, not of the arts but of life itself,” and by Tom Bissell as “perhaps the most bafflingly great writer at work in the English language today,” Dyer has now blended criticism, memoir, and badinage of the most serious kind into something entirely new. The Last Days of Roger Federer is a summation of Dyer’s passions and the perfect introduction to his sly and joyous work.