HomegoingLarge Print - 2016
From Library Staff
In 18th-century Ghana, two half-sisters and their families enter history via different paths: one by marriage, and one by slavery.
A novel of sharply drawn character studies chronicles more than 250 years in the linked lives of two families in Ghana and the United States. Our 2018 Seattle Reads selection!
Beginning in Ghana as one sister is sold into slavery and the other marries a colonial administrator, Homegoing follows two strands of one family tree down the generations, each chapter introducing a new decade of a family striving for more even as generational trauma unfolds behind and in front ... Read More »
Fiction Runner-up. A riveting, kaleidoscopic debut novel: a story of race, history, ancestry, love, and time that traces the descendants of two sisters torn apart in eighteenth-century Africa across three hundred years in Ghana and America.
Seattle Librarians Mar 08, 2017
Ghana, 1760: Two half-sisters, two diverging paths, and seven generations of human history unfold across two continents in this stunning saga of the African diaspora.
From the critics
QuotesAdd a Quote
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.
“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
"Weakness is treating someone as though they belong to you. Strength is knowing that everyone belongs to themselves." - page 38
"'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?'"
SummaryAdd a Summary
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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