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A BBC Top 100 Novels that Shaped Our World
Effia and Esi: two sisters with two very different destinies. One sold into slavery; one a slave trader's wife. The consequences of their fate reverberate through the generations that follow. Taking us from the Gold Coast of Africa to the cotton-picking plantations of Mississippi; from the missionary schools of Ghana to the dive bars of Harlem, spanning three continents and seven generations, Yaa Gyasi has written a miraculous novel - the intimate, gripping story of a brilliantly vivid cast of characters and through their lives the very story of America itself.
Epic in its canvas and intimate in its portraits, Homegoing is a searing and profound debut from a masterly new writer.
'This incredible book travels from Ghana to the US revealing how slavery destroyed so many families, traditions and lives - and how its terrifying impact is still reverberating now. Gyasi has created a story of real power and insight' Stylist, the Decade's 15 Best Books by Remarkable Women
Selected for Granta's Best of Young American Novelists 2017
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Best First Book
Shortlisted for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction
Shortlisted for the Beautiful Book Award 2017
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
This astonishing epic confronts the heinous legacy of slavery and reminds us that the #blacklivesmatter rallying cry is so painfully necessary. Yaa Gyasi sets her debut in Ghana—the country she left as a young child—and her adopted home country of the United States, following two branches of a family with roots in both the Asante and Fante tribes. We can’t remember the last time we were so wrapped up in a novel. What astonished us most was Gyasi’s ability to ground the arc of history in profoundly personal, emotional stories.
Gyasi's amazing debut offers an unforgettable, page-turning look at the histories of Ghana and America, as the author traces a single bloodline across seven generations, beginning with Ghanaian half-sisters Effia, who is married off to a British colonizer in the 1760s, and Esi, who is captured into the British slave-trading system around the same time. These women never meet, never know of each other's existence, yet in alternating narratives we see their respective families swell through the eyes of slaves, wanderers, union leaders, teachers, heroin addicts, and more these often feel like linked short stories, with each descendent receiving his or her own chapter. Esi's descendants find themselves on the other side of the Atlantic, toiling on plantations in the American South before escaping to the North for freedom, while Effia's offspring become intertwined in the Gold Coast slave trade, until her grandson breaks away and disappears to live a simple existence with his true love. In both America and Ghana, prosperity rises and falls from parent to child, love comes and goes, and the characters' trust of white men wavers. These story elements purposely echo like ghosts as history often repeats itself yet Gyasi writes each narrative with remarkable freshness and subtlety. A marvelous novel.