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Homegoing Reviews

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi


Yaa Gyasi

Score pending

1 review

Imprint: Penguin Books Ltd
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Publication date: 5 Oct 2017
ISBN: 9780241975237

Effia and Esi: two sisters with two very different destinies. One sold into slavery; one a slave trader's wife. The consequences of their fate reverberate through the generations that follow. Taking us from the Gold Coast of Africa to the cotton-picking plantations of Mississippi; from the missionary schools of Ghana to the dive bars of Harlem, spanning three continents and seven generations, Yaa Gyasi has written a miraculous novel - the intimate, gripping story of a brilliantly vivid cast of characters and through their lives the very story of America itself.

  • The GuardianBook of the Day
4 stars out of 5
13 Jan 2017

"a hugely empathic, unflinching portrayal of west Africa’s role in the transatlantic slave trade"

If there must be a purpose to the creation of yet another slave narrative other than to show how cruel, unfair, debased and horrific slavery was, it should be to convey the impact of it on modern life. Homegoing loses some of its urgency in the later segments, perhaps because there are fewer rapes, no bleeding love scenes, no sudden thefts of freedom. There is also too vast an array of lives and emotional interiors to take in; the book becomes overloaded, lacking a central thread, and we begin to forget. But this idea also seems significant, one thread of the intricate lace of the book. We may forget, or may want to forget, yet we cannot, because – as with Marcus and Marjorie, the novel’s contemporary, closing characters – slavery is a source of our confusion and discomfort, regardless of which side of the colour divide we descend from. So here is a book to help us remember. It is well worth its weight.