Homegoing Study Guide

Homegoing is the first novel by Ghanaian-American author Yaa Gyasi. Following the descendants of an Asante woman named Maame, the novel paints a complex picture of the intertwined histories of Ghana and the United States from the 1700's to present day.

According to Gyasi, the idea for the story came to her when she visited Ghana during college. Though Gyasi was born in Ghana, her family moved to the United States when she was an infant and had never taken a trip back. Gyasi was struck when she visited the Cape Coast Castle by the idea of African women living in the top levels of the castle as the wives of colonists while others were kept in the dungeon to be sold as slaves. Gyasi used historical accounts written by Africans and African-Americans to center each chapter of the book around important historical moments.

The book immediately received positive reviews from critics and the public alike. The New York Times Book Review listed it as an Editor's Choice, it was selected as one of the National Book Foundation's 2016 "5 under 35" award winners, and it received the John Leonard Prize for publishing year 2016 by the National Book Critics Circle and the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for 2017.