Media Center: ‘Homegoing’ by Yaa Gyasi

Media Center: ‘Homegoing’ by Yaa Gyasi

WHO: Yaa Gyasi


WHEN: Published by Knopf June 7, 2016

WHERE: Author tour to Boston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, and Washington DC.

WHY: “A marvelous novel…an amazing debut.
“An unforgettable, page-turning look at the histories of Ghana and America. The author traces a single bloodline across seven generations, beginning with Ghanaian half-sisters Effia, who is married off to a British colonizer in the 1760s, and Esi, who is captured into the British slave-trading system around the same time. These women never meet, never know of each other’s existence, yet in alternating narratives we see their respective families swell through the eyes of slaves, wanderers, union leaders, teachers, heroin addicts, and more—these often feel like linked short stories, with each descendent receiving his or her own chapter.
“Esi’s descendants find themselves on the other side of the Atlantic, toiling on plantations in the American South before escaping to the North for freedom, while Effia’s offspring become intertwined in the Gold Coast slave trade, until her grandson breaks away and disappears to live a simple existence with his true love. In both America and Ghana, prosperity rises and falls from parent to child, love comes and goes, and the characters’ trust of white men wavers.
“These story elements purposely echo like ghosts — as history often repeats itself — yet Gyasi writes each narrative with remarkable freshness and subtlety.”
—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, in a featured, starred review

Homegoing is an inspiration.
Gyasi’s characters are so fully realized, so elegantly carved—very often I found myself longing to hear more. Craft is essential given the task Gyasi sets for herself—drawing not just a lineage of two sisters, but two related peoples. Gyasi is deeply concerned with the sin of selling humans on Africans, not Europeans. But she does not scold. She does not excuse. And she does not romanticize. The black Americans she follows are not overly virtuous victims. Sin comes in all forms, from selling people to abandoning children. I think I needed to read a book like this to remember what is possible. I think I needed to remember what happens when you pair a gifted literary mind to an epic task.” —Ta-Nehisi Coates

“A remarkable feat.
A novel at once epic and intimate, capturing the moral weight of history as it bears down on individual struggles, hopes, and fears. A tremendous debut.” —Phil Klay

Jacket photo

Media Resources:
About the book and author | Read and excerpt | Author tour | Download the jacket | Download the author photo

Knopf. 305 pages. $26.95 ISBN 978-1-101-94713-5

Publicist for this title:
Josie Kals | 212-572-2565 |