Author: Yaa Gyasi
Context: Homegoing (2016) is a historical fiction debut novel by Yaa Gyasi set in Ghana in the mid-1700s. Three hundred years in Ghana have been traced, with this novel of great emotional power and breathtaking sweep. Homegoing is indeed extraordinary for its monumental portrait of the forces that shape nations and families, for its rising beauty, unappeasable sorrow and superb language.
Synopsis: Effia and Esi, the two half sisters are born in the eighteenth century in Ghana in two different villages. Both the twins are not aware of each other. One of the twins Effia, is to get married to an Englishman and spend her life in the Cape Coast Castle and live in the palatial rooms in comfort. The other twin Esi, will be captured in her village in a raid and put into prison in the same Cape Coast Castle after which she will be sold as a slave. Esi is put into the dungeons of the castle, sold along with thousands of others in the slave trade booming on the Gold Coast. She is then shipped off to the United States where her kids and her grandchildren have to grow up in slavery.
This extraordinary novel is about the parallel paths of the two twin sisters and their lineage through eight generations right from the Gold Coast to the Mississippi plantations and from the Civil War in America to Jazz Age Harlem. The troubled legacy of slavery, including both those who stayed and those who were taken, is illuminated truly well in the novel. The story reveals how the soul of the nation has been inscribed with the memory of captivity. Homegoing has won a number of awards including the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Award, PEN/Hemingway Award, National Book Foundation’s “5 under 35” and 2020 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Literature.
Other works by the Author:
2018– Transcendent Kingdom