Homegoing/ Yaa Gyasi

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi details the beginnings of the slave trade as African  tribes  raid one another’s villages to gain riches by kidnapping  young men and women at the behest of  British slave traders. The Gold Coast of Africa became Ghana where to this day stands the Cape Coast Castle and the  “Door of No Return ” leading to the beach where the slave ships waited to sail to the Caribbean and America.


Homegoing is a story of Africa and the havoc wrought  by British colonization.  The book tells a parallel  story of Africans chained together and cast upon the shores of America. Gyasi writes  in Homegoing of generation after generation of her people searching for identity in frightening and ever-changing worlds in Africa, the American South and the streets of present day Harlem. Listen to Gyasi’s  voice:

White men get a choice. They get to choose they job, choose they house. They get to make black babies, then disappear into thin air, like they wasn’t never there to begin with, like these black women they slept with or raped done laid on top of themselves and got pregnant. White men get to choose for black men too. Used to sell ’em; now they just send ’em to prison like they did my daddy, so they can’t be with their kids.

Homegoing is compelling, engaging, insightful and beautifully written The novel follows  generations of descendants seeking answers and understanding as to how their past became the present. Through it all, Gyasi never loses the thread, weaving back and forth taking the reader along on an emotional journey. There will be much more to come from this brilliant first time novelist.






” But no one ever leaves the town where they grew up, not really, even if they go.”  In those key strokes Anna Quindlen, through the voice of  Mimi, Miller’s Valley protagonist, speaks for everyone who hails from small town rural America.


Miller’s Valley reads with an easy cadence.  ” Oh, I get that, I know him he’s just like… she reminds me of…. ” I said to myself over and over, as Miller’s Valley unfolded  on pages that turned easily and eagerly.

In every small town there exists a mystery behind every doorway and in Miller’s Valley the secrets play out at kitchen tables, barns and where else but at the local diner. The book reads like a memoir. It is both predictable and unpredictable in a perfect blend.

Anna Quindlen was a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist while at the New York Times. Her memoir Lots of Candles Plenty of Cake published in 2012 was a  number one New York Times bestseller.