An Evening With 

Yaa Gyasi


Transcendent Kingdom is Yaa Gyasi’s stunning follow-up to her critically acclaimed national bestseller, Homegoing. Just published, it is an instant New York Times bestseller landing at No. 3 on the list.  It is a powerful, deeply layered novel about a Ghanaian family in Alabama.

The protagonist, Gifty, is studying the neural circuits that trigger addiction for her doctorate at Stanford University, hoping that her painstaking studies on rats can ultimately help humans. Her interest is intensely personal. Gifty’s brother, whom she adored as a child, died of an overdose of Oxycontin. Gifty is left alone with her mother, an immigrant from Ghana, who sinks into depression and can barely leave her bed. Now a graduate student, Gifty seeks answers in the lab while grappling with her childhood faith, which she had abandoned.

Gyasi was born in Ghana and raised in Huntsville,   Alabama. She holds a BA in English from Stanford   University and an MFA from the Iowa Writers Workshop, where she held a Deans Graduate   Research Fellowship. She lives in New York City. 

Her previous book, Homegoing, was winner of several awards, including: 

  • Winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award
  • Winner of the NBCCs John Leonard Award
  • Shortlisted British Book Award – Debut of Year
  • A New York Times Notable Book
  • A Washington Post Notable Book
  • One of the Best Books of the Year: NPR, Time,, Harpers Bazaar, Mother Jones, Esquire, Elle, Paste,    Entertainment Weekly, the  Skimm, PopSugar,   Minneapolis Star Tribune,  BuzzFeed, The Guardian, Financial Times,   San Francisco   Chronicle