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Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
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Homegoing

by Yaa Gyasi

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,8331703,376 (4.21)358
"Two half sisters, Effia and Esi, unknown to each other, are born into two different tribal villages in 18th century Ghana. Effia will be married off to an English colonial, and will live in comfort in the sprawling, palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle, raising half-caste children who will be sent abroad to be educated in England before returning to the Gold Coast to serve as administrators of the Empire. Her sister, Esi, will be imprisoned beneath Effia in the Castle's women's dungeon, and then shipped off on a boat bound for America, where she will be sold into slavery. Stretching from the tribal wars of Ghana to slavery and Civil War in America, from the coal mines in the north to the Great Migration to the streets of 20th century Harlem, Yaa Gyasi's has written a modern masterpiece, a novel that moves through histories and geographies and--with outstanding economy and force--captures the troubled spirit of our own nation"--… (more)
Recently added byrena40, private library, yulischeidt, lydschmidt, eksel2018, nellbailey, j_tuffi, Pages_Aplenty
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» See also 358 mentions

English (164)  German (2)  Danish (1)  Spanish (1)  Latvian (1)  French (1)  All languages (170)
Showing 1-5 of 164 (next | show all)
A heavy but immensely beautiful book. ( )
  j_tuffi | May 30, 2020 |
Homegoing follows two branches of a Ghanaian family, one descending from the wife of an English officer, and the other from her half-sister who is sold into slavery and shipped across the Atlantic to the United States. Though the novel is largely about Black American and African identity and the repercussions of the slave trade in both the U.S. and Africa, Yaa Gyasi also writes searingly about the enduring bonds of family. Every chapter is /heartbreaking/. I tried reading this in generational chunks, but as emotionally difficult as Homegoing is, it's also unputdownable.

Homegoing manages to be epic and profound in equal measure, and is easily one of the best reading experiences I've had in recent years.

Thanks to Random House for the galley! ( )
  allison_s | May 25, 2020 |
THIS BOOK CHANGED MY LIFE. YAA GYASI IS AMAZING. ( )
  RandieChap | Apr 26, 2020 |
Looking for more book reviews? Check out Rachel Reading for more like this.

I really don’t even know where to start with this book. It’s wonderful, different, but absolutely wonderful. Each chapter is told from a different character’s perspective through the generations of these two half-sisters. Effia marries a white slaver, and her half-sister Esi is sold into slavery. Effia gets Chapter One, and Esi gets Chapter Two. The subsequent chapters follow the next generation in that order. For example, Effia’s child gets Chapter Three, and Esi’s child gets Chapter Four, and so on and so forth. Don’t worry, there’s a family tree in the beginning of the book.

I couldn’t put this book down. It’s a quick read, but that doesn’t necessarily make it an easy read. I think it should be hard to read books like this, that deal with heavy topics such as this, but I also couldn’t stop reading it. Many people have commented on the fact that they didn’t like the chaptered style of reading, I, however, loved it. I loved the glimpse we got into each characters life and how in the subsequent or even previous generations we’d see more of their lives.

I felt like Gyasi knew the power of a story, and how an intentional glimpse into a life tells so much, and how much you can see in that experience. You can ee how far generations effect the future generations, like something your great-great grandmother is something your family still does or an attitude that’s still prevalent on that side. It’s a wonderful, moving novel. ( )
  rachelreading | Apr 20, 2020 |
The Ghanaian-born author tells a family saga in a series of short stories. Beginning with two sisters- one seized as a slave, one marrying an English slaver- the tales alternate between the successive generations of each, in both Africa and America.
This kind of structure could lose the reader, but Gyaasi keeps the writing compelling, the characters memorable. The bit that really stood out for me was AFTER Abolition in America; we tend to think it was pretty much 'fixed' then, but casual imprisonment of 'free' Black people was ramped up to maintain an effective slave force under another name...
Very well written indeed. ( )
  starbox | Apr 9, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 164 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Yaa Gyasiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hoffman, DominicNarratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Abusua te sε kwaε: sε wo wɔ akyire a wo hunu sε εbom; sε wo bεn ho a na wo hunu sε nnua no bia sisi ne baabi nko.

The family is like the forest: if you are outside it is dense: if you are inside you see that each tree has its own position.

—AKAN PROVERB
Dedication
For my parents and for my brothers
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The night Effia Otcher was born into the musky heat of Fanteland, a fire raged through the woods just outside her father's compound.
Quotations
We believe the one who has the power. He is the one who gets to write the story. So when you study history, you must always ask yourself, Whose story am I missing? Whose voice was suppressed so that this voice could come forth. Once you have figured that out, you must find that story too. From there, you begin to get a clearer, yet still imperfect picture.
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amazon ca :A novel of breathtaking sweep and emotional power that traces three hundred years in Ghana and along the way also becomes a truly great American novel. Extraordinary for its exquisite language, its implacable sorrow, its soaring beauty, and for its monumental portrait of the forces that shape families and nations, Homegoing heralds the arrival of a major new voice in contemporary fiction.

Two half-sisters, 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.

Generation after generation, Yaa Gyasi’s magisterial first novel sets the fate of the individual against the obliterating movements of time, delivering unforgettable characters whose lives were shaped by historical forces beyond their control. Homegoing is a tremendous reading experience, not to be missed, by an astonishingly gifted young writer.
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