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Homegoing: A novel by [Yaa Gyasi]
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Homegoing: A novel Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 3,166 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

New York Times Bestseller
International Bestseller
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle's John Leonard Prize for Outstanding First Book
Winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction
Finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction
Runner-up of the 2017 Dayton Literary Peace Prize in fiction

Longlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize
Nominated for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize
A New York Times Notable Book
A Washington Post Notable Book
A Time Top Novel
An Oprah Favorite Book
A Globe and Mail Best Book
Guardian Best Book
A National Post Best Book
A CBC Best Book
An Entertainment Weekly Best Book
A Buzzfeed Best Book
A BBC Best Book
An Esquire Best Book
An Atlantic Best Book
Kirkus Reviews Best Book
An NPR Best Book
A Harper's Bazaar Best Book
An Elle Best Book
A Paste Magazine Best Book

A Jezebel Best Book
An A.V. Club Favorite Book
A British GQ Best Book
A Popsugar Best Book
A Financial Times Best Book

"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 Book Review

"Gyasi's characters are so fully realized, so elegantly carved—very often I found myself longing to hear more. . . . 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

"A blazing success. . . . The sum of Homegoing's parts is remarkable, a panoramic portrait of the slave trade and its reverberations, told through the travails of one family that carries the scars of that legacy. . . . Gyasi's characters may be fictional, but their stories are representative of a range of experience that is all too real and difficult to uncover. Terrible things happen to them; they're constantly cleaved apart, and in the process, cut off from their own stories. In her ambitious and sweeping novel, Gyasi has made these lost stories a little more visible." Los Angeles Times

"Homegoing is assured and propulsive, feeling as inevitable as time itself in its pacing, each chapter delving deep into the life of one man or woman, reeling through lives burned by histories both global and domestic. . . . Homegoing is in a league of its own, contemporary and complex and astoundingly assured. . . . With Homegoing, Gyasi arrives, already a major and inspiring literary talent." —Toronto Star

"Yaa Gyasi's much-anticipated novel lives up to the hype. . . . [Homegoing is a] dazzling and much-anticipated debut. . . . At 27, Gyasi is already a consummate craftsperson, ferrying us to and fro across the Atlantic with ease. . . . Homegoing is a footbridge across the Atlantic—proof that blood is thicker than wide water, confirmation that, yes indeed, we can go home again." Maclean’s

"Ambitious, but Gyasi pulls it off. . . . Such a powerful debut." —The Globe and Mail

"Homegoing, Gyasi's debut novel, is a work of remarkable intimacy and scope that introduces a writer whose artistry and ambitions are equally matched." ―National Post

"Homegoing [is a] hypnotic debut novel by Yaa Gyasi, a stirringly gifted young writer. . . . 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

"[A] rich debut novel. . . . [Gyasi is] asking us to consider the tangled chains of moral responsibility that hang on our history. This is one of the many issues that Homegoing explores so powerfully. . . . 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, The Washington Post

"Epic. . . . Astonishing. . . . Page-turning." —Entertainment Weekly

"Like Zadie Smith and Diana Evans and Nigel Shriver before her, Yaa Gyasi has delivered what will probably be my favourite book of 2016. . . . Extraordinary. . . . She writes so vividly that you carry every character along with you as you meet the next—their history, their tragedy, their hope, all of it coursing through, multiplied by generation. Homegoing is a beautiful achievement. . . . It's essential. It's the work of a major new voice in women's literature." —Elaine Lui, co-host of The Social

"The most powerful debut novel of 2016. . . . Carrying on in the tradition of her foremothers—like Toni Morrison, Edwidge Danticat, Assia Djebar and Bessie Head—Gyasi has created a marvelous work of fiction that both embraces and re-writes history." Paste Magazine

"Homegoing is stunning. . . . Weaving together multiple perspectives, Gyasi's powerful novel is fire and water, black and white, broken and whole—a tremendous feat." —Winnipeg Free Press

"Tremendous. . . . Homegoing brims with complex emotions and insights about the human condition. It is essential reading from a young writer whose stellar instincts, sturdy craftsmanship and penetrating wisdom seem likely to continue apace—much to our good fortune as readers."San Francisco Chronicle

"[Homegoing is] exuberantly large-canvas, taking on the biggest American themes—race and sex, history and identity—with fresh perspective. . . . [Toni Morrison's] influence is palpable in Gyasi's historicity and lyricism. . . . 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." ―Vogue

"A first novel that brims with compassion. . . . [A] sprawling epic. . . . Meshing the streets of Harlem and the Gold Coast of Ghana in the pages of one novel is a remarkable achievement. . . . In Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi has given rare and heroic voice to the missing and suppressed." ―NPR Books

"Rich, epic. . . . Each chapter is tightly plotted, and there are suspenseful, even spectacular climaxes." —Christian Lorentzen, New York Magazine

"Gripping."  Wall Street Journal

"A memorable epic of changing families and changing nations." —Chicago Tribune

"Remarkable. . . . Compelling. . . . Powerful." —Boston Globe

"Homegoing is an epic novel in every sense of the word. . . . A stunning, unforgettable account of family, history, and racism, Homegoing is an ambitious work that lives up to the hype." Buzzfeed

"Stunning. . . . [Homegoing] may just be one of the richest, most rewarding reads of 2016." —Elle

"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

"Exceptionally engaging. . . . Homegoing is one hell of a book . . . the writing is so damn good. . . . I recommend Homegoing without reservation. Definitely a must read for 2016." —Roxane Gay, New York Times bestselling author of Bad Feminist

"Moving and haunting, Homegoing is a compelling story that takes us further along the road of understanding who we are." —British GQ

"Homegoing is stunning—a truly heartbreaking work of literary genius." —Bustle

"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. . . . Gyasi writes each narrative with remarkable freshness and subtlety. A marvelous novel." Publishers Weekly, starred review

"The arrival of a major new voice in American literature." —Poets & Writers

"Unique. . . . Striking." —The Huffington Post

"Dazzling." Mother Jones 

"A promising debut that's awake to emotional, political and cultural tensions across time and continents." —Kirkus Reviews  

"[A] commanding debut . . . [that] will stay with you long after you've finished reading. When people talk about all the things fiction can teach its readers, they're talking about books like this." —Marie Claire 

"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, host of The Daily Show and New York Times bestselling author of Born a Crime

"A deeply empathetic novel. . . . An affecting examination of the soul-destroying and lingering effects of slavery." Financial Times

"Gyasi is an unshowy writer, with moments of real authority. She gives voice to suppressed stories, and that feels hugely important. . . . [Homegoing] certainly deserves our attention." The Sunday Times (UK)

"Bewitching. . . . Just as un-put-down-able as The Girl on the Train. With twisty surprises at every bend, this haunting tale of sisters, betrayal and the murky waters of our memories will stay with you long after you turn the last page." —Popsugar
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

This sweeping family saga encompasses seven generations of descendants of a Fante and his captured Asante house slave. After giving birth to a daughter, Maame manages to escape, making her way alone back to her own village. She is taken in by an Asante warrior, becomes his third wife, and has a second daughter by him. The two sisters, Effia and Esi, will never meet, their lives will follow very different paths, but their descendants will share a legacy of warfare and slavery. Effia will marry an Englishman who oversees the British interest in the Gold Coast slave trade. Esi will be captured by Fante warriors, traded to the Englishmen, and shipped to America to be sold into slavery. Progressing through 300 years of Ghanaian and American history, the narrative unfolds in a series of concise portraits of each sister's progeny that capture pivotal moments in each individual's life. Every portrait reads like a short story unto itself, making this volume a good choice for harried teens, yet Gyasi imbues the work with a remarkably seamless feel. Through the combined historical perspectives of each descendant, the author reveals that racism is often rooted in tribalism, greed, and the lust for power. Many students will be surprised to discover that the enslavement of Africans was not just a white man's crime. VERDICT Well researched, beautifully told, and easy to read, this title is destined to become required, as well as enlightening, reading for teens.—Cary Frostick, formerly at Mary Riley Styles Public Library, Falls Church, VA --This text refers to the hardcover edition.

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Top international reviews

Nkor1
5.0 out of 5 stars This book fed my mind and spoke to my heart
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 2, 2018
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Prerna Mishra
4.0 out of 5 stars A multi generational saga of a long path to freedom
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 21, 2018
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KymH
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad but not great either
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 30, 2018
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Pamela Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 11, 2019
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mjk
5.0 out of 5 stars My 2017 book of the year!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 10, 2018
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S Payne
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book spanning many generations with strong writing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 16, 2019
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AdaMay
4.0 out of 5 stars An ambitious and impressive debut novel
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 29, 2017
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supersonia
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully written story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 11, 2017
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Rebecca
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent debut Yaa Gyasi.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 25, 2020
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Emma Fitzgerald
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding novel of epic scope and beautiful writing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 27, 2020
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Suzy
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting generational tale
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 21, 2020
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A. E. Williams
4.0 out of 5 stars Episodic
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 28, 2019
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Mrs Marion E Walker
2.0 out of 5 stars A good idea but lacking depth
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 4, 2018
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Partick Potter
3.0 out of 5 stars The sum of the whole is less than the sum of its parts
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 8, 2019
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ladybgood
4.0 out of 5 stars Got Lost a Few times
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 7, 2019
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