Homegoing
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Homegoing

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A riveting, kaleidoscopic debut novel and the beginning of a major career: a novel about race, history, ancestry, love, and time that traces the descendants of two sisters torn apart in eighteenth-century Africa across three hundred years in Ghana and America. Two half sisters, Effia and Esi, unknown to each other, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and will live in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle, raising children who will be sent abroad to be educated before returning to the Gold Coast to serve as administrators of the empire. Esi, imprisoned beneath Effia in the Castle's women's dungeon and then shipped off on a boat bound for America, will be sold into slavery. Stretching from the wars of Ghana to slavery and the Civil War in America, from the coal mines in the American South to the Great Migration to twentieth-century Harlem, Yaa Gyasi's novel moves through histories and geographies and captures--with outstanding economy and force-- the troubled spirit of our own nation. She has written a modern masterpiece.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 165 x 241 x 33mm | 590g
  • Knopf Publishing Group
  • United States
  • English
  • 1101947136
  • 9781101947135
  • 23,954

Review quote

Gyasi s characters are so fully realized, so elegantly carved very often I found myself longing to hear more. Craft is essential given the task Gyasi sets for herself drawing not just a lineage of two sisters, but two related peoples. Gyasi is deeply concerned with the sin of selling humans on Africans, not Europeans. But she does not scold. She does not excuse. And she does not romanticize. The black Americans she follows are not overly virtuous victims. Sin comes in all forms, from selling people to abandoning children. I think I needed to read a book like this to remember what is possible. I think I needed to remember what happens when you pair a gifted literary mind to an epic task. Homegoing is an inspiration. Ta-Nehisi Coates, National Book Award winning author of "Between the World and Me" "Homegoing is a remarkable feat a novel at once epic and intimate, capturing the moral weight of history as it bears down on individual struggles, hopes, and fears.A tremendous debut. Phil Klay, National Book Award winning author of "Redeployment""show more

About Yaa Gyasi

YAA GYASI was born in Ghana and raised in Huntsville, Alabama. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and lives in Berkeley, California.show more

Review Text

"Gyasi's characters are so fully realized, so elegantly carved-very often I found myself longing to hear more. Craft is essential given the task Gyasi sets for herself-drawing not just a lineage of two sisters, but two related peoples. Gyasi is deeply concerned with the sin of selling humans on Africans, not Europeans. But she does not scold. She does not excuse. And she does not romanticize. The black Americans she follows are not overly virtuous victims. Sin comes in all forms, from selling people to abandoning children. I think I needed to read a book like this to remember what is possible. I think I needed to remember what happens when you pair a gifted literary mind to an epic task. Homegoing is an inspiration." - Ta-Nehisi Coates , National Book Award-winning author of Between the World and Me "Homegoing is a remarkable feat-a novel at once epic and intimate, capturing the moral weight of history as it bears down on individual struggles, hopes, and fears. A tremendous debut." - Phil Klay , National Book Award-winning author of Redeployment "I could not put this book down" - Roxane Gay "It is hard to overstate how much I LOVE this book" - Michele Norris "One of the most fantastic books I've read in a long time...you cry and you laugh as you're reading it...a beautiful story" - Trevor Noah , The Daily Show "The hypnotic debut novel by Yaa Gyasi, a stirringly gifted writer . . . magical . . . the great, aching gift of the novel is that it offers, in its own way, the very thing that enslavement denied its descendants: the possibility of imagining the connection between the broken threads of their origins." -Isabel Wilkerson, The New York Times Book Review "It's impossible not to admire the ambition and scope of "Homegoing," and thanks to Ms. Gyasi's instinctive storytelling gifts, the book leaves the reader with a visceral understanding of both the savage realities of slavery and the emotional damage that is handed down, over the centuries, from mothers to daughters, fathers to sons. At its best, the novel makes us experience the horrors of slavery on an intimate, personal level; by its conclusion, the characters' tales of loss and resilience have acquired an inexorable and cumulative emotional weight." -Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times "The brilliance of this structure, in which we know more than the characters do about the fate of their parents and children, pays homage to the vast scope of slavery without losing sight of its private devastation . . . . [Toni Morrison's] influence is palpable in Gyasi's historicity and lyricism; she shares Morrison's uncanny ability to crystalize, in a single event, slavery's moral and emotional fallout. What is uniquely Gyasi's is her ability to connect it so explicitly to the present day: No novel has better illustrated the way in which racism became institutionalized in this country." - Megan O'Grady , Vogue "Toni Morrison's masterpiece, "Beloved," seared into our imagination the grotesque distortions of antebellum life. And now, Yaa Gyasi's rich debut novel, "Homegoing," confronts us of the involvement of Africans in the enslavement of their own people . . . the speed with which Gyasi sweeps across the decades isn't confusing so much as dazzling, creating a kind of time-elapsed photo of black lives in America and in the motherland . . . haunting . . . Gyasi has developed a style agile enough to reflect the remarkable range of her first novel. As she moves across the centuries, from old and new Ghana and to pre-Civil War Alabama and modern-day Palo Alto, her prose modulates subtly according to time and setting: The 18th-century chapters resonate with the tones of legend, while the contemporary chapters shine with clear-eyed realism. And somehow all this takes place in the miraculous efficiency of just 300 pages . . . truly captivating." -Ron Charles, Washington Post "Gyasi echoes [James] Baldwin's understanding of a common cultshow more