Monday, February 12, 2018

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

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Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi tells the story of two branches of a family, starting with a single pair of sisters in Africa and following eight generations to the current day, showing how different the members of each generation turn out to be (but also the similarities between them, despite the distance across both place and time).

It is a unique book, in my experience, because of the point of view. Every chapter follows a different person: pairs of chapters are from the same generation, one from each branch of the family, stemming from a single pair of sisters. To explain more clearly: chapter one is about the first sister, chapter two is about the second sister, chapter three is about the first sister's child, chapter four is about the second sister's child, etc. By doing this, the story manages to have both a "big picture" view of a broad scope of things going on for decades and decades, and a fine-detail attention for the minutiae of the life of an individual within the story. It also allows for multiple perspectives on each individual, when a previous chapter was from their parent's viewpoint and a subsequent chapter is from that of their child, and later, their grandchild, and great-grandchild.

You can find this book in the VBPL collection in print, downloadable audiobook, and e-book from Overdrive.

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