Homegoing

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Yaa Gyasi, Dominic Hoffman: Homegoing (EBook, 2016, Random House)

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Published June 7, 2016 by Random House.

ISBN:
978-1-5094-1128-3
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4 stars (57 reviews)

Homegoing is the debut historical fiction novel by Ghanaian-American author Yaa Gyasi, published in 2016. Each chapter in the novel follows a different descendant of an Asante woman named Maame, starting with her two daughters, who are half-sisters, separated by circumstance: Effia marries James Collins, the British governor in charge of Cape Coast Castle, while her half-sister Esi is held captive in the dungeons below. Subsequent chapters follow their children and following generations.

The novel was 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, and was longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize in 2017. It received the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for 2017, an American Book Award, and the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Literature.

27 editions

Macht süchtig

5 stars

"Heimkehren" von Yaa Gyasi hat mich von Anfang bis zum Ende in seinen Bann gezogen. Die Verästelung der Geschichten von zwei Halbschwestern, die aus den gleichen Wurzeln entspringen, aber völlig verschiedene Leben führen, ist faszinierend. Die Art und Weise, wie die Autorin die verschiedenen Zweige dieses komplexen Stammbaums miteinander verknüpft, ist beeindruckend.

Die Geschichte war durchweg spannend, und ich konnte kaum aufhören zu lesen. Es stimmt, dass es gelegentlich verwirrend sein kann, auf welchem Ast des Stammbaums man sich gerade befindet. Doch diese Verwirrung trägt auf gewisse Weise zur Tiefe und Komplexität der Erzählung bei.

Die erste Geschichte hat mir bereits gut gefallen, und ich finde den Schreibstil von Yaa Gyasi äußerst ansprechend. Sie versteht es, die Emotionen und die Tiefe der Charaktere auf eindrucksvolle Weise darzustellen. Insgesamt hat sich die Lektüre von "Heimkehren" definitiv gelohnt, und ich bin beeindruckt davon, wie die Autorin die Leben dieser beiden Halbschwestern so …

Stimulating and Entrancing

5 stars

This book gripped me immediately. A wonderfully written dive into how the slave trade effected and shaped not just the Americas, but also the land the slaves came from. I was enamored in how each generation built on the tragedy and triumphs of the previous generations. I also honestly appreciated that the book wasn't the equivalent of trauma porn, with moments of joy and achievement throughout.

I remember I finished this book on my lunch break at work, and I literally gasped in joy at the ending, as I felt it was the best way that things could have ended.

This book brought me so much joy, as well as great insight into the Black experience through the years and how each historical era changed things.

I've been verbally recommending this book to everyone, and now I'll do it online too.

Review of 'Homegoing' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

I will never walk a mile or even one step in their shoes. I’ll never feel a whip shredding my flesh; never be condemned to hard labor in a coal mine or fear being abducted into such a life. I have, I suspect, had job applications tossed out because of my name but I’ve never had entire career possibilities closed off. I’ve never been hauled to prison for smoking a joint while nearby anglos, doing the same, look on. This is privilege, and it makes my reading experience both uncomfortable and so rewarding.

Damn, what a book. Gyasi offers a visceral feel for the crushing inescapable suffering of one subset of humanity at the hands of another subset. It’s impossible for most of us to really feel what those lives were like, but Gyasi lets us come close to imagining it. The book follows two parallel timelines, the (mostly mis)fortunes …

Review of 'Homegoing' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

This was not what I was expecting. I had been putting it off because even though everyone loved it, I had gotten the impression that this was a heavy literary novel. It isn't that at all. It is pretty standard historical fiction. (That's a good thing in my world.)

Two half-sisters in Ghana start the story. One stays in Ghana and marries a British man. The other is sold into slavery by that British man. One member of each generation tells their story up until the present.

Everyone is right. It really is good. Go read it.

Review of 'Homegoing' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

For me this is a remarkable novel for two reasons in particular:
1. It gives the reader a deep understanding of the mechanisms of slavery and colonialism.
2. The book shows how decisions in history determines our live. The reason most of us live in a free world, have a right to vote, human rights. Things generations and millions of people fought and died for.

Yaa Gyasi tells the story of two family trees beginning with two sisters that were seperated at the start of the 18th century. The reader joins the story at the gold coast (eastern africa, ghana), where colonialism by the british people is on its peek. Effia, one of the sisters, become married to a british officeri, living in a castle built by the british. Under the castle the daily horror of slavery takes place. Effias folk. the fantes, had sealed a pact with the british …

Review of 'Homegoing' on 'Import'

1 star

Not sure if I'm missing something (the reviews are all good), but the prose and character development in these linked stories offered nothing for me. The stories are connected, one generation to the next, from the history of the gold coast slave trade to modern America, but each trudges along with an aimlessness and a lack of involvement that is frustrating to read. The dialogue lacked reality, and crafted badly drawn stereotypes instead of individuals. The history of this era is more engaging and interesting to read than this is, in novel/short story form.

Review of 'Homegoing' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

In the 1700s, two half-sisters, unknown to each other, are born in the west coast of Africa, in what is now Ghana. The first Effia, is given to marriage to the British colonist governor of Cape Coast Castle, one of the slave castles built on the Gold Coast of West Africa. She lives in luxury while in the dungeons of the castle, in a dark room packed with more than a thousand slaves and littered with human waste, her half-sister Esi, who was sold into slavery by a rival African tribe waits, starved, beaten and raped, to be stacked on a ship that would transfer her to the Southern States of America.

By following the two lines of the family, Yaa Gyasi explores how slavery is hunting each generation across continents and across time, for seven generations. Each subsequent chapter of the Homegoing is told from the point of view …

Review of 'Homegoing' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

This is Yaa Gyasi's award-winning debut novel--and she was only 26 years old. That in itself is fascinating. I will certainly be following her career.

Homegoing is a stunning accomplishment, covering some 25o years and eight generations, illustrating the devastation of families and culture caused by the slave trade, and creating inspirational characters along the way.

It starts as the story of two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, whose lives follow two very different paths: one is married to a British officer who is involved in the slave trade, while the other is captured to be sold into slavery in America. Each chapter is a story about a descendant, and these stories alternate between Africa (what is now Ghana) and the United States.

There is wisdom in these pages that is memorable and will stay with me for quite some time. I'd recommend this novel to absolutely anyone.

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