New novel on the legacy of slavery
'Homegoing' is the best-selling debut novel by new author Yaa Gyasi. It tells the story of a family over several generations, exploring the impact of their being taken as slaves from late eighteenth century Gold Coast in Africa, through to Southern US slave plantations and up to modern-day Harlem. The Times review called it "an awe-inspiring debut that gives an insight into the toxic legacy of transatlantic slavery". Gyasi also confronts the involvement of Africans in the enslavement of their own people, not to provide an 'everyone was doing it' excuse but to get us to consider '"the tangled chains of moral responsibility that hang on our history". The Guardian review comments: "If there must be a purpose to the creation of yet another slave narrative other than to show how cruel, unfair, debased and horrific slavery was, it should be to convey the impact of it on modern life. ... [S]lavery is a source of our confusion and discomfort, regardless of which side of the colour divide we descend from. So here is a book to help us remember. It is well worth its weight."
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