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Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
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Homegoing (edition 2017)

by Yaa Gyasi (Author)

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2,0081274,848 (4.24)307
Member:RebeccaLeaf
Title:Homegoing
Authors:Yaa Gyasi (Author)
Info:Vintage (2017), Edition: Reprint, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

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English (123)  Danish (1)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (126)
Showing 1-5 of 123 (next | show all)
An important book that we all need to read. Sweeping in scope, spanning two continents and two hundred years, Gyasi explores slavery, blackness, identity, roots, belonging, what it means to be black in Ghana and in America. She takes the journey through glimpses into the lives of each generation of the same family on two continents - their struggle for survival and against the cruel and dehumanizing power of the white man.

She sums up her mission in the last chapter with Marcus's thoughts:
"What he wanted to capture with his project was the feeling of time, of having been part of something that stretched so far back, was so impossibly large, that it was easy to forget that she, and he, and everyone else, existed in it - not apart from it, but inside of it."

The voices and experiences in this book are important andd often gut wrenching. Yet the format does not allow deep immersion in each. This is not really a novel, but more a series of short stories connected through ancestry and similar experiences. We see each family member for a short story, in which she crams into full family histories of each, not leaving room to explore the characters and connect with them. This, coupled with the pretty basic, narrative-driven writing, leads to staying on the surface, not experiencing anyone's story with their full impact.

Overall, an amazing debut and incredible stories, but it felt rushed and disjointed. ( )
  Gezemice | Oct 29, 2018 |
A book you want to re-read as soon as you've finished, it reads like a series of interconnected short stories, each chapter taking you to a different generation or a different continent. Each character is crafted with exquisite precision as the novel takes you on a journey through the horrors of history to the reality of where that journey leads. ( )
  booksonshelves | Oct 27, 2018 |
I really enjoyed this book. I listened to it on Audible on my daily commute. At times I had a little bit of a hard time keeping track of which descendant was which. I recommend downloading the copy of the family tree which is included with the print version of the book. The author's prose is so descriptive and lovely, it makes the book breathe with life. Each character, even minor ones who were just supporting the story, were well developed. Harsh realities of life and the world are explored and are juxtaposed with the love and endurance of family. Yaa Gyasi has written a beautiful book, one that I could listen to over and over. ( )
  TracyRitter | Oct 16, 2018 |
We all felt this to be a very powerful book and the first time the "whole story" was told as a cohesive history from the Black perspective. Many "aha" moments and 'that explains it". This page turner describes the human indignity and horrors of slavery but leaves the reader with hope. The story lingers long after the last page. ( )
  Bibliofemmes | Oct 15, 2018 |
A beautifully written story of two half-sisters and their descendants in both Ghana and in America. It's a side of the slavery story that I didn't know much about-- how tribal wars were exploited by white colonialists and abetted by the chiefs and their greed and jealousies. I was touched by the women in the story, their losses and loves... ( )
  Aronfish | Oct 7, 2018 |
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Epigraph
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
First words
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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Book description
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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"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)

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