- File Size: 4036 KB
- Print Length: 313 pages
- Publisher: Vintage (June 7, 2016)
- Publication Date: June 7, 2016
- Sold by: Random House LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B015VACH4U
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,260 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$16.95|
Save $3.96 (23%)
Random House LLC
Price set by seller.
Homegoing: A novel Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
|Length: 313 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible book with Whispersync for Voice. Add the Audible book for a reduced price of $8.99 when you buy the Kindle book.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
More items to explore
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
A 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
A 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
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Effia is sold to a white British lord, living in Africa to negotiate the slave trade, and she spurs a line of descendants who grapple with the impact of the slave trade within Africa. The story of how slavery began in Africa is not one I knew well, and it was heartbreaking and jarring, to learn how the different tribes stalked and captured each other, selling rival sons and daughters and wives to the British, fueling the trade.
Esi is herself captured, and kept in the dungeon of the Castle where her sister lives as the "wench" wife of a British trader, until she is sent through the Middle Passage to America, into slavery. The story of Esi's life in the dungeon, waiting to be shipped she knows not where, like every bit of the book, is so detailed and rich and true that it is astonishing to realize the author is only 26 years old. This book could easily be a lifetime achievement, and instead it is just the beginning of what I imagine will be an amazing body of work.
Homegoing has many, many, many strengths, and perhaps just one weakness. The strengths are found in the story, and in the writing. It is a glory of riches. From the wars between the Asante and Esperante tribes in Africa in the 1700s to the Middle Passage to the slave plantations to life as a freeman in the North to the villages of Africa in the 1800s, to Harlem, through to the impact of the prison culture and drug culture of modern day America, the scope of this book is astonishing. And it is only 300 pages long.
My one wish with the book is that it started to feel a little bit that I was getting a glimpse of a life, when I wanted more. In some ways, the book is a series of interlocking short stories: every chapter is the story of one character, representing that generation There are 14 chapters, I think; seven generations, and Esi, Effia and each of their descendants get one story per generation. So we see Esi in the Dungeon, and on the Middle Passage, but then we do not see her again. We hear from her daughter, Ness, that Esi in America was known as "Frownie" because she never smiled, and that when Ness was born, there was a strange sound heard, which some suspect was the sound of Esi laughing because it was never heard before or since. I cared for Esi, and wished we had heard more of her story after she reached America. Similarly, Ness herself represents the story of slavery, but we only have about 20 pages with her. Those pages are wisely used - I fell in love with her and with Sam, her proud African husband - but again, it is gone so quickly. It was hard not to feel some frustration; these characters and stories started to feel almost wasted, so much richness that we just didn't get a chance to explore.
I came to understand that Ms. Gyasi is telling the story not of one person, or even one family, but instead, tracing a much larger theme, and arc, of the cost of cruelty, and the redeeming power of sacrificial love. The story begins with a slave escaping (an African slave escaping from an African village), and ends hundreds of years later, as two of that slave's descendants return to the village, and to the ocean. It is a promise of healing through the most horrible crimes, for which the most horrible price is paid. On some level, it is so much more powerful than yet another story about a family. And yet - I cared so much for these people, I wish I had known them a bit more. But maybe that is the point as well.
Top international reviews
Each chapter's like a short story about a different member of each generation of the same family, alternating between two sisters' (Esi's and Effia's) bloodlines. For example, the first chapter's about Esi, the second chapter's about Effia, the next two chapters are about their children, the two after that are about their grandchildren and so on. The family tree at the beginning of the book helps to visualise the context across eight different generations.
Each story's compelling in its own right and leaves you begging to know more about the character you're reading about and also what will happen to their progeny after them. I love that it tells so many different stories and yet at the same time, it's essentially one story about one family; one story about the Black Diaspora. I don't want to give anything away, because there are quite a few unexpected twists in the tale, but it alternates between stories about Ghanaian royalty, slavery and slavers across both sides of the Atlantic, the Ashanti-British war in Ghana, freed slaves and the South to North migration in America, missionaries in Ghana, even the coal mine/prison business after slavery ended in America. There are unique insights into commonly told stories such as life in 1960s Harlem and also lesser-known stories such as village life in Ghana.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a great story. You'll also appreciate it if you're even slightly interested in historical novels or any aspect of the current/past Black Diaspora. I learned more about Ghanaian history, African-American history and possible motivations of different players in both over time. I also gained an insight into the idea of how the actions of each person in a bloodline can affect the generations of their family to come. I feel like I'm both better informed and a more empathetic person for having read this book.
I think this was a very bold debut. And Gyasi mostly rises up to the challenge. I definitely liked the first half of the book more than the second half, the second half did get weighed down by some clichés. I loved some of the characters and their strengths, like the ethics of Quay and the stoicism of Willie. Some relationships are beautiful, particularly that of “mad” Akua and Marjorie. However, some character arches had more potential for development, like that of Sam and Ness. The element of mystery and authenticity was preserved in the way that Marcus and Marjorie never found out that they were related to each other, and that is probably true of so many descendants whose ancestors were nameless slaves once upon a time. The novel will remain a testimonial of the fact that freedom comes at a price and it must be valued and preserved.
The book has the haunting backdrop of slavery, one of the most shameful realities of America and Great Britain. The baggage is a very heavy one to carry; the weight is often borne by generations; also by the tormentor and the sufferer alike. As the stories progress between generations, there is not always a characteristic happier ending, symbolic of the fact that while we may have come a long way; there is a much longer path that lies ahead. Ironically, I finished this book on the day a biracial woman, a descendant of the Southern slaves, walked down the aisle in Windsor Castle to be married into the Royal Family of Great Britain.
The book also reinforced how very recent all this is and the very small mention on the Nation of Islam - although it was I think put into perspective here, did give a flavour of how Imperialism has contributed to our present problems and issues and the book would almost have been incomplete had it not mentioned it.
The characterisation was perfect and the chapter on Yaw broke my heart - Yaa Gyasi has such a poetic way of writing, I loved her style - passages like “memories turning into butterflies and flying away” - gorgeous.
Another powerful concept was how names can often be the only thing left of a family and how calling someone by another name other than their own (common practice amongst white slavers) can, as well as being a personal assault be far wider reaching. It is a form of theft.
On page 244 Sonny explaining how the practice of segregation made him feel his separateness as inequality and that that is what mattered to him, put a slightly different perspective on integration for me.
All in all a brilliant book.
She is a very descriptive and emotional writer and I loved it. My 2017 book of the year!
Homegoing follows seven generations, fourteen perspectives in total. This is a lot of stories to hear. It all begins with two half sisters, Effia and Esi, who will never know each other. One's experiences lead her and her family to slavery in America, the other's family find themselves mostly in Ghana and we follow their descendants on their different journeys.
Each chapter is from the perspective of a new character; first Effia and Essi, and then six of their descendants, as the story tracks the cultural changes in both Ghana and America - through colonialism, racism, and attitudes to slavery. Through the characters, we experience life during the tribal wars of the 1700s, the horrors of the slave trade, the ways in which prominent leaders in Ghana aided British and American slavers, the fear created by the Fugitive Slave Act, and much more.
The chapters read a bit like short stories, we pick up new characters and follow their journey and then we leave them at the end of the chapter. But this book still feels like one story and the writing, characters and themes flows well. One of the things I enjoyed the most was when starting a new chapter, you were not sure who or where you were starting - then one of the characters would mention a member of their family that you had read about before and all the pieces fall into place. It felt like this book was actually a lot bigger than it was, it covers so much history and touches so many characters but I just flew through it.
As with this topic in general, there's a lot to be disgusted about in this book. True to history, it is full of blood, whippings, racist language, British superiority and other scenes that will turn your stomach. However, it is handled and presented well, with sensitivity and emotional awareness.
A great read for anyone that is interested in this subject, sagas over many generations and great writing. It’s hard to believe this is a debut book.
I thought it was a very good debut novel all round, but I was glad to have the paperback version as well as the kindle because of the extensive lineage of both sisters, which was set out at the beginning of book. I found the names and their connections hard to remember, and consulted the family tree many times as I read the book. This made me think that the book could have been a collection of short stories rather than a novel, and was the main reason I hesitated and gave it four stars rather than five.
At times it reminded me of ‘Beloved’ by Toni Morrison, with other nods towards ‘Half a Yellow Sun’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I look forward to reading her next book.
Home Going is such a great book, told by one member of each generation as their lives, although similar, are completely different. Their stories being told from their mouths. Not from others.
I can't really put in to words how great these stories are. All I can say, is that you read it and enjoy it for yourself.
My only criticism is the structure - two from each generation, one of each sister's lineage. It gets confusing without a written time line of events. The chapters are titled after the person whose story is being told. I would have liked a quick date and location, ancester link to remind me before I read.
There is a family tree at the beginning of this book which is useful to consult when moving down the generations, but as I am using my kindle to read this, it was difficult having to jump back and forth. A time line of events as well as the family tree would be useful too.
No other comments. Highly recommend this book. It has inspired me to write my own family's stories. Passing down generations and shaping who we are.