by Yaa Gyasi
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2016. 305 pages. Fiction.
In a well woven and page turning debut, Gyasi’s Homegoing follows the family trees of two Ghanaian sisters, Effia and Esi, one captured and sold into slavery and the other married off to a slave trader. The book gives glimpses into the lives of six generations of their progeny, over a 300 year time span, through various incarnations of captivity and oppression. As one sister’s lineage faces war and British colonial intrusion in Africa, the other’s decedents live through dark times of slavery in the Southern United States.
As I read, it was abundantly clear that this book was important, as well as moving and at times truly heart wrenching. The perspectives and intersections of tribalism, colonialism, slavery, and the evolution of racism in the U.S. and in Africa were present and palpable. I would recommend this book, highly, to pretty much anyone, especially those hoping to gain a deeper understanding of this time in history.