Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing follows the generations of a family and within these stories is an illustration of the multitude of battles fought by Black people in the African diaspora through space and time.

At the begining of the year, in a bookshop in Nairobi, I saw the most beautiful section. Growing up in the US, this was not something I had previously seen and I stopped to appreciate the sense of belonging written in two words. “African Authors” it said. After picking up Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta, I vowed to read more African fiction.

“Welcome home.”

Gyasi’s writing style is unmatched. In the midst of internal and external conflict experienced by various characters is prose that is indirect and lyrical. The experiences of these characters, from H to Sonny, is far from content yet the way it is written adds a layer of appreciation for the Black experience.

“Whose story do we believe, then…We believe the one who has the power. He is the one who gets to write the story. So when you study history, you must always ask yourself, Whose story am I missing? Whose voice was suppressed so that this voice could come forth? Once you have figured that out, you must find that story too. From there, you begin to get a clearer, yet still imperfect, picture.”

I have a newfound sense of appreciation for the depth of history after reading this novel, which provides brevity for those ready to recieve it.