Homegoing Yaa Gyasi

In the summertime of 2009, following her sophomore year at Stanford University, Gyasi travelled to Ghana, [3] eventually taking a side trip to the Cape Coast Castle; the journey to Ghana was sponsored by a research grant. [4] Although Gyasi was born in Ghana, she relocated to the United States as a baby, and this was her very first trip back. [4] On a good friend’s triggering, they went to the Cape Coast Castle, where she found her motivation in the contrast between the glamorous upper levels (for colonists and their regional families) and the suffering of the dungeons below, where servants were kept. [4] She relates: “I just found it really fascinating to think of how there were individuals walking upstairs who were uninformed of what was to become of the people living downstairs.” [4]

Gyasi says the ancestral tree came first, and each chapter, which follows one descendant, is connected to a substantial historical occasion, [3] although she described the research study as “large however shallow.” [4] The Door of No Return by William St. Clair helped to form the descriptions of life around the Castle in the first few chapters. [5] [6] Among the last chapters, entitled “Marjorie”, is influenced by Gyasi’s experiences as part of an immigrant household living in Alabama. [4] [3]

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… I believe I was type of continuously engaging, I guess, with actually what the legacy of slavery is. You know, originating from a nation, Ghana, that had a role in slavery, and after that winding up in a location where slavery is still so strongly felt institutionally, as bigotry is still so strongly felt. The paradox of that wasn’t lost on me. And I believe, had I not grown up in Alabama, I don’t understand that I would have ever written this book.

— Yaa Gyasi, 2016 interview with Scott Simon [6]

Publication history

  • — (2016 ). Homegoing (1st hardcover ed.). New York City: Knopf. ISBN 978-1-10194-713-5. Recovered 1 March 2017.
  • — (2016 ). Homegoing (ebook ed.). New York City: Knopf. ISBN 978-1-10194-714-2.
  • — (2016 ). Homegoing (open market ed.). New York City: Knopf. ISBN 978-0-45149-383-5.
  • — (2016 ). Homegoing (1st UK hardbound ed.). London: Viking. ISBN 978-0-24124-272-8. Obtained 1 March 2017.
  • — (2017 ). Weg Naar Huis. Equated by Hoekmeijer, Nicolette (first Dutch ed.). Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij. ISBN 978-9-02349-995-4. Obtained 1 March 2017.

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