A Novel

eBook - 2016
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"Homegoing is an inspiration." —Ta-Nehisi Coates 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...
Publisher: 2016
Branch Call Number: Overdrive
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Reproduction: Electronic reproduction. New York : Knopf, 2016. Requires OverDrive Read (file size: N/A KB) or Adobe Digital Editions (file size: 5315 KB) or Kobo app or compatible Kobo device. (file size: N/A KB) or Amazon Kindle (file size: N/A KB)
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc
ISBN: 9781101947142


From Library Staff

This sprawling historical novel covers 300 years and tells the story of two half sisters from two different tribes in 18th Century Ghana. One marries an English colonial and one is sold into slavery; each situation has lasting effects on their descendants.

"Normally I am not a huge fan of sprawling historical fiction and this definitely qualifies as it spans 300 years following the family lines of two half sisters from two different African tribal villages. But Gyasi's writing was so inviting that I felt like I had a sense of every character, ... Read More »

The book tells the story of two half sisters unknown to each other and of the six generations that follow, their lineages broken by enslavement and cursed by premonitions that condemned those who were captured, those who were spared and those who sold hostages to the Europeans.

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May 17, 2018

This title was chosen for the 2018 Seattle Reads book. The fictional work follows the lineage of two families from early African Tribal life, through the devastation of the slave trade, and onto current day. Each character/time frame is pretty much self-contained, almost separate stories. I loved the characters and the realistic feel of the settings. Although I probably wouldn't have chosen to read this on my own, I'm glad I did. It is well written and worth reading. There is violence and explicit content.

SPPL_Kristen Mar 22, 2018

My only complaint is that I didn't get to spend even more time with these characters

Mar 17, 2018

So grateful for this book! The art with which Gyasi unfolds the stories of two sisters separated and formed by the slave trade, and of their descendants, is such that the reader is focused entirely on the very human subjects of her art. If I were a high school teacher in the US, I would want this to be required reading for every student. 'Black history' is EVERYONE'S history. Until we learn these lessons, we will never be whole as a nation.

ylpladults Mar 06, 2018

Alternating chapters show the effects of slavery on both sides of the slave trade through generations: the African slave traders and those they sold into slavery. A strongly written, moving, no holds barred novel.

AL_ANNAL Feb 14, 2018

A compelling, clear-eyed saga stretching over 200 years and from Ghana to the U.S. The African slave trade and its legacy and the worst and best of humanity.

Feb 10, 2018

An enjoyable and interesting read, even if it continually jumps forward into different generations of the same family. Still, well written with a good dose of relatable history. I'd entertain another novel by this author.

Jan 22, 2018

GREAT book. I liked the concept of moving from generation to generation - it gives a history lesson without ever feeling like it. Only problem is I kept getting so attached to the characters and then it would move on to the next, leaving me wondering what happened to them.

Jan 12, 2018

Just when I really cared about a character and their situation, the author moved on to a descendant. I was frustrated because I wanted to know more. More fully developed, each of the characters could have been their own short book.

CircMary Jan 12, 2018

This book started my new year of reading off with a bang. The parallel stories of the two families was engaging throughout. It left me wishing we could learn the whole life story of each and every character.

AL_ANDREW Dec 11, 2017

Well written and structured, Homegoing avoids the trap that usually turns me away from the "family saga" genre by only spending a single chapter on each family member.

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Oct 06, 2017

You are not your mother’s first daughter. There was one before you. And in my village we have a saying about separated sisters. They are like a woman and her reflection, doomed to stay on opposite sides of the pond.

Jan 10, 2017

“History is Storytelling… This is the problem of history. We cannot know that which we were not there to see and hear and experience for ourselves. We must rely upon the words of others. Those who were there in the olden days, they told stories to the children so that the children would know, so that the children could tell stories to their children. And so on, and so on. But now we come upon the problem of conflicting stories… Whose story do we believe? 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.” - pages 225 & 226

Jan 10, 2017

"Weakness is treating someone as though they belong to you. Strength is knowing that everyone belongs to themselves." - page 38

Jun 02, 2016

"'Shorter hours, better ventilation, those are things that you should be fighting for.'
'More money’s what we should be fighting for.'
'Money’s nice, don’t get me wrong. But mining can be a whole lot safer than what it is. Lives are worth fighting for too.'"

"'When a white man ever listened to a black man?'"


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Oct 06, 2017

Effia and Esi are half-sisters who have never met. First divided by their mother’s secrets, they will soon be divided by an ocean when Esi is sold into slavery and shipped across the Atlantic. Effia remains in Ghana, sold in marriage by her step-mother to the British governor of the Cape Coast Castle, where slaves are held in cramped dungeons before being loaded onto ships bound for America. In present day America, Marjorie wrestles with her identity as a Ghanaian immigrant to the United States, while Marcus struggles to complete his PhD knowing that many young black men of his generation are dead or in jail, and that only chance has kept him from the same fate. In a sweeping family saga, Yaa Gyasi follows the sisters’ bloodlines over hundreds of years, one child from each generation, tracing the impact of colonialism and slavery across the centuries, between Ghana and America.


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