Yaa Gyasi’s 2nd novel, Transcendent Kingdom, takes us deep into the heart of one woman’s struggle to make experience of her life and family.
Gifty turned into born in Huntsville, Alabama, after her own family emigrated from Ghana. Now she’s carrying out a Ph.D. At Stanford, studying addiction and reward-looking for behaviors in mice. She has a personal connection with her selected subject: When she was 10, her adored older brother, Nana, died of a heroin overdose after a basketball injury left him hooked on opioids. Their mother spiraled into depression soon after. Over a decade later, Gifty brings her mom to California after the older female shows signs of some other drawing close breakdown. As Gifty keeps a watchful eye on her mom and maintains her research, she starts to enjoy the pull of the strong evangelical Christian religion of her childhood, which she’d supposed to leave at the back of in Alabama.
Gifty’s willpower to better recognize her circle of relatives’s struggling and the tension between two opposing belief systems (faith and technological know-how) forms the coronary heart of this empathetically written novel. As Gifty begins the final months of her experiments, the narrative shifts in time to include stories of Gifty’s father, referred to as the Chin-Chin Man, as well as Nana’s tragic tumble into addiction and Gifty’s single summer spent in Ghana. Gifty’s pass from the tight embrace of organized religion to the wide-open questions of the sciences is depicted in exceptional detail. The casual however cutting racism of the all-white church of her childhood, the alienation she felt as a Black Christian woman pursuing a science diploma and the unease with which she encounters other college students in her lab are all unforgettable.
Gyasi’s bestselling debut novel, Homegoing (2014), turned into a multigenerational saga that traced the households and fortunes of two Ghanaian half of sisters over 3 centuries. Despite its awareness on a unmarried own family, Transcendent Kingdom has an expansive scope that levels into fresh, relevant territories—just like the title, which shows a higher world past the existence we inhabit.