Chairman of Sequoia Capital; author, The Little Kingdom, and co-author with Sir Alex Ferguson of Leading.
Interwoven with the inevitable recapitulation of a torrent of games, an oddly affecting self-portrait emerges from Didier Drogba’s account of his footballing life. The image is that of a man who, after an unsettling childhood and almost a decade of toiling in football’s lower reaches, finally achieved the security for which he yearned: during all too few winters at Chelsea, the club he calls home; in Ivory Coast, the country of his childhood; and, most of all, with a woman with whom, since the age of 22, he has raised four children. Undercurrents of sensitivity and shyness course through this work — a surprising revelation from a man who, in his prime, seemed cut from bronze, but whose moral compass is touchingly calibrated.
After turning the last page of the final volume of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan quartet, it’s easy to issue a long sigh. Few novelists have ever wrought as fine and intense a portrait of the circles and connections that radiate and intersect with the strains (and occasional joys) of a lifelong relationship between two people. The saga of the principals, Lila and Elena, which began in girlish childhood in the squalor of tenement blocks peopled by hoodlums and shopkeepers scratching out an existence, has drawn to a close amid the disappointments, dashed hopes, volcanic outbursts and ruptured connections of late middle age. Yet between these mordant bookends there exists a work for the ages—filled with finely carved characters, intricately etched plots and the entire spectrum of human emotion—all translated into exquisite English.