For 300 years the story follows the fates of the descendants of two sisters. From the slave trade in Ghana to the plantations of the American South, from African Colonial Rule to the Civil War and its aftermath, as each generation moves forward the story describes their lives. Effia’s father has big plans for his beautiful daughter. He hopes to wed her to the young chief thus securing a prominent position for his family in their tribe. Scheming for a higher bride price and to be rid of this unwanted daughter, his wife arranges a “marriage” to one of the Brits at the Castle. James Collins is kind to Effia, she lives in the Castle overlooking the sea on the coast of Ghana. Esi’s fate is not so good, while Effia resides in comfort; Esi is crowded into the dark, fetid dungeon below the Castle, subjected to cruelty and deprivation. Soon she is loaded onto a ship, transported in horrible conditions to the American South, and sold into slavery where she will live out her brief unhappy life. Each generation will face challenges; the effect of selling fellow Africans into slavery on the tribes of Ghana, life as a slave in the American South, the years when a free black could be grabbed off the streets of the north to be sold into slavery in the south, the decades when to be black limited choices on jobs, housing, where you could dine, while passing for white opened those opportunities, the racial tensions of the 60’s and so much more. This book moves with a blistering pace through history, illuminating lives and captivating readers. Yaa Gyasi has a powerful voice and a brilliant use of story.— Deon Stonehouse
June 2016 Indie Next List
“Homegoing is an epic narrative that is sure to become a treasured staple. Two sisters in Ghana are marked by fiery tragedy: one is married off to an English slave trader, and the other is sold to be a slave in America. The story follows their descendants generation by generation. Homegoing will break your heart over and over, impress you with the resilience of the human spirit and the amazing power of forgiveness, and leave you optimistic and in awe.”
— Nichole McCown (E), Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA
About the Author
YAA GYASI was born in Ghana and raised in Huntsville, Alabama. She is a recent graduate of the presitigious Iowa Writers' Workshop where she held a Dean's Graduate Research Fellowship. Her short stories have appeared in African American Review and Callaloo. Homegoing is her debut novel.