One of this summer’s hottest reads is Yaa Gyasi’s stunning debut, Homegoing. Two half sisters, unknown to each other, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana and experience profoundly different lives and legacies throughout subsequent generations.
If you are waiting for an available copy at a library, the below titles may help tide you over in the meantime.
THE TURNER HOUSE by Angela Flournoy
“The Turners have lived on Yarrow Street for over fifty years. Their house has seen thirteen children grown and gone–and some returned; it has seen the arrival of grandchildren, the fall of Detroit’s East Side, and the loss of a father. The house still stands despite abandoned lots, an embattled city, and the inevitable shift outward to the suburbs. But now, as ailing matriarch Viola finds herself forced to leave her home and move in with her eldest son, the family discovers that the house is worth just a tenth of its mortgage. The Turner children are called home to decide its fate and to reckon with how each of their pasts haunts–and shapes–their family’s future.”
ROOTS by Alex Haley
This poignant and powerful narrative tells the dramatic story of Kunta Kinte, snatched from freedom in Africa and brought by ship to America and slavery, and his descendants. Drawing on the oral traditions handed down in his family for generations, the author traces his origins back to the seventeen-year-old Kunta Kinte, who was abducted from his home in Gambia and transported as a slave to colonial America. In this account Haley provides an imaginative rendering of the lives of seven generations of black men and women.
CITIZENS CREEK by Lalita Tademy
Buying his freedom after serving as a translator during the American Indian wars, Cow Tom builds a remarkable life and legacy that is sustained by his courageous granddaughter.
TWELVE TRIBES OF HATTIE by Ayana Mathis
The story of an African American family held together with a mother’s grit and monumental courage.
THE DOOR OF NO RETURN: the history of Cape Coast Castle and the Atlantic slave trade by William St. Clair (Non-Fiction)
This book tells the grim story of Cape Coast Castle in present-day Ghana, the African headquarters of the British slave trade from 1664 to 1807. From this massive building on the Atlantic shore, countless men, women, and children were sold as slaves and carried away on slave ships, often to North America. Here we read about some of the people who lived, worked, or were imprisoned within the Castle, as well as about its construction and upkeep, the arrivals and departures of ships, and the negotiations with local African leaders.
If you didn’t pick up the June edition of the BookPage, featuring Yaa Gyasi, at the library, you can still catch this informative interview with the author online.