As a child, Gifty would ask her parents to tell the story of their journey from Ghana to Alabama, seeking escape in myths of heroism and romance. When her father and brother succumb to the hard reality of immigrant life in the American South, their family of four becomes two – and the life Gifty dreamed of slips away.
Years later, desperate to understand the opioid addiction that destroyed her brother’s life, she turns to science for answers. But when her mother comes to stay, Gifty soon learns that the roots of their tangled traumas reach farther than she ever thought. Tracing her family’s story through continents and generations will take her deep into the dark heart of modern America.
Transcendent Kingdom is a searing story of love, loss and redemption, and the myriad ways we try to rebuild our lives from the rubble of our collective pasts.
NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS
“Absolutely transcendent. This book questions faith, our beliefs, struggling mental states, racism, assimilation, finding your truth and path throughout your life journey.
It’s pure, heartbreaking, intense and honest. The layered, well crafted characterization, unique, genuine, riveting writing style captivate you from the beginning.” Bibliotecas Municipais de Lisboa, Portugal
Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi is a potent and intricately written character driven novel that details the struggles of the immigrant experience, with thoughtful examination of racism, poverty, family, grief, and faith. New Hampshire State Library, United States
This is an exquisite and moving narrative of a woman’s quest to find meaning in life following the despair at the loss of her brother to addiction. Grifty is a PhD candidate in neuroscience at the Stanford School of Medicine and her story centers on her immigrant Ghanaian family, based in Alabama. She is a strong but character who deals head-on with her hardships. The writing is powerful, raw and intimate and reels one in. City of Cape Town Library and Information Services Department, South Africa