×

Warning

JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 889


Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

GyasiHomegoing is an absolutely fascinating and wonderfully written first novel by a 26-year-old woman who was born in Ghana and raised in Huntsville, Alabama. It is a fictional look, from a different point of view, at a history and people often written about. Homegoing traces two families through several generations, beginning with half-sisters Effia and Esi, born of the same mother, who never know each other.

The novel begins in 1763 in a small village in Ghana. The first chapters are written about each sister; then chapters alternate about the lives of their descendants, through several generations, to the present.

One family remains in Ghana, and one family is transported to the Americas as slaves. While the stories set in the Americas are more familiar to us as readers (slavery in the South, emancipation, and life in Harlem), the African lives have been written about less often. One of the focuses of the novel is the slave trade on the Gold Coast in Ghana and what the Africans contributed to it, tribes fighting and selling each other to the white slavers.

While the stories of the generations contain details of the difficult and abusive situations of racism, hatred, and loss, the individual characters are very human and each generation lives with new hope. Gyasi writes with knowledge and understanding of a difficult history and of the real people whose lives are a part of it. In the Black Church tradition, a homegoing is a celebration of someone’s life, as opposed to a burial service. In Gyasi’s well written novel, each chapter is a small homegoing for each individual in a long chain of family and events. 

book

 
Comments List

Archive posts

Collapse all