Winner of the NBCC's John Leonard First Book Prize
A New York Times 2016 Notable Book
One of Oprah’s 10 Favorite Books of 2016
NPR's Debut Novel of the Year
One of Buzzfeed's Best Fiction Books Of 2016
One of Time's Top 10 Novels of 2016
“Homegoing is an inspiration.” —Ta-Nehisi Coates
The unforgettable New York Times best seller begins with the story of two half-sisters, separated by forces beyond their control: one sold into slavery, the other married to a British slaver. Written with tremendous sweep and power, Homegoing traces the generations of family who follow, as their destinies lead them through two continents and three hundred years of history, each life indeliably drawn, as the legacy of slavery is fully revealed in light of the present day.
Effia and Esi are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.
Includes a PDF of the Family Tree
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Crossing both oceans and time, Yaa Gyasi’s mesmerizing debut novel follows the descendants of two half-sisters from Ghana—one who married into the colonial power structure and one who was sold into chattel slavery—as their lives are affected by tribal customs, colonial expansion, slavery, and eventually the civil rights movement. Actor Dominic Hoffman (The Shield) brings rich emotional gravity to his narration, carrying us through the many complex emotional arcs of this epic story. With every new character, his portrayal grounds us in each person’s specific time and place. We were blown away by how beautifully Gyasi interweaves the deeply personal narratives of her characters with key moments from African and African American history. Vast in scope, Homegoing is an unparalleled depiction of one diasporic family.
I love this book. Takes a look at sociopolitical issues across generations. Really interesting read. Top two favorite books along with the glass palace.
This is how you tell a story!
When I think of a book that has moved me this is what I think of. If you want to read a book that feels like your beloved ancestors/ late grandparents have returned and sat you down to tell you the stories of their life in such detail that you can picture it, then this is the book for you. I will always hold this book in high regard.
The author so vividly translates whole worlds into language. It is impossible not to become immersed in the lives and deeply align one’s self with the characters. A book I find myself coming back to again and again.