“An inspiration” – Ta-Nehisi Coats. This novel was on the New York Time best-seller list for a few weeks. It is set partly in Huntsville, Alabama, where the author, born in Ghana, grew up and partly at Stanford University where the author did her undergraduate work. Her first book, Homegoing, inspired by a trip she took back to Ghana, won four of the most prestigious honors for a first novel and made her a millionaire. Transcendent Kingdom follows the protagonist, Gifty, a doctoral student at Stanford who is studying addiction behaviors in mice while grieving for her bother who died of an overdose and taking care of her mother who is suffering from severe depression. Raised in a fundamentalist church in Alabama, Gifty flashes back to the answers that heritage provides as contrasted with what science has to offer. "Yaa Gyasi’s profoundly moving second novel takes place in the vast, fragile landscape where the mysteries of God and the certainties of science collide. Through deliberate and precise prose, the book becomes an expansive meditation on grief, religion, and family."—The Boston Globe. "A book of blazing brilliance ... of profound scientific and spiritual reflection . . . A double helix of wisdom and rage twists through the quiet lines. . . . Thank God, we have this remarkable novel."—Ron Charles. “The novel is full of brilliantly revealing moments, sometimes funny, often poignant.... [Gifty is] provokingly vital.”—James Wood. "Meticulous, psychologically complex...At once a vivid evocation of the immigrant experience and a sharp delineation of an individual’s inner struggle, the novel brilliantly succeeds on both counts."—Publishers Weekly (starred review).
New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2020. Hardback in dust jacket, $27.95.16.00