All posts tagged: yaa gyasi

Homegoing: Great Expectations

I’d heard nothing but praise for Homegoing before picking it up. It’s clearly a beloved story, and a big reason why we chose it as our November book. But sometimes such high expectations get in my way. But with the really good ones, the author-defining books like this one, expectations are just the beginning. Yaa Gyasi’s debut novel Homegoing is a blow-you-away kind of story. Gyasi masterfully engineers the stories of eight generations into just three hundred pages in a way that’s nothing short of a work of art. Her writing is poetic and yet efficient. The characters are each sketched as full portraits in their short chapters. And the beginning of every ancestor’s story reads like the start of its own epic novel. Some of the characters I missed after their brief time in one chapter (give or take some overlap), but Gyasi then has you falling in love with the next character, and the next, and the next. And all the while she weaves in significant periods of history in a way that’s …

Eyes Open: Homegoing

I read Homegoing in March. I wrote my review of Homegoing immediately, in March. A lot has happened since March. A lot has happened that is relevant to the subject matter of Homegoing. I have done a lot of reflecting, a lot of reading, a lot of discussing, and a lot of Work. This book and this review, in some ways, were a turning point in my commitment to truly understanding my own privilege, to educating myself, and to equity and justice. So, instead of rewriting it to reflect all that I have learned since, here it is, exactly as I wrote it in March. Homegoing Review, March 2020 Let me get the easy part out of the way, Homegoing is absolutely amazing. Yaa Gyasi wrote a phenomenal novel following a family line over centuries, through separation, slavery, loss, death, heartbreak, hope, and everything imaginable. This book rocketed easily into my top ten favorite books ever. From the first chapter, I was completely hooked and desperate to find out what would happen in the next generation. I …

November Book

More than most books we’ve read at The Bookly Club, fellow book-lovers can’t seem to say enough good things about this year’s November book. And rightfully so! This bestseller is an all-time favorite for a lot of readers and has won countless accolades. Selected in 2016 for the National Book Foundation’s “5 under 35” award, the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Award for best first book, one of Oprah’s Best Books of the Year longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize in 2017, recipient of the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for 2017, an American Book Award, and the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Literature The historical fiction debut novel Homegoing begins in eighteenth century Ghana, and follows the parallel lives of two half sisters and their descendants. One sister, Effia, marries an Englishman and lives a life of comfort. The other, Esi, is captured, imprisoned, and sold into slavery. This multigenerational family saga travels from Southern plantations and the Civil War, to the Great Migration, the jazz age, dope houses in twentieth-century Harlem, right up …