cover image At Home with Muhammad Ali

At Home with Muhammad Ali

Hana Ali. Amistad, $25.99 (480p) ISBN 978-0-06-291739-3

Ali (Ali on Ali) crafts a compassionate and intimate memoir of life with her father, championship heavyweight boxer Muhammed Ali (1942–2016). In her telling, Muhammad was the epitome of a doting father to his nine children— especially the outspoken, determined Hana, who was born to Muhammad’s third wife, Veronica Porche. Ali depicts her father as a deeply religious Muslim who was dedicated to helping those he encountered—whether it was a man he didn’t know who was contemplating leaping out of a ninth-floor window, or a friend and minister advocating for the release of American hostages in Iran in the 1980s. A family man who grew up in Louisville, Ky., during the height of segregation, Muhammad kept extensive audio diaries throughout his life, as well as tapes of his daughters’ lighthearted giggles and his buoyant phone calls to friends like fellow fighter George Foreman. Ali, however, doesn’t shy from discussing her father’s Achilles heel—women—a subject he didn’t talk about on the recordings. Through frank talks with her mother, Ali learned of their courtship and the events that led to their divorce (“Listening to my mother, I felt like a whole new world was revealed to me”), and it is through her mother that she relived the early stages of her father’s Parkinson’s disease. Ali’s tender memoir is a heartfelt tribute to her father. (May)