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5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 5.00 (1 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Yaa Gyasi Narrator: Dominic Hoffman Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2016 ISBN: 9780451484185
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A riveting, kaleidoscopic debut novel and the beginning of a major career: a novel about race, history, ancestry, love, and time that traces the descendants of two sisters torn apart in eighteenth-century Africa across three hundred years in Ghana and America.

Two half sisters, Effia and Esi, unknown to each other, are born into different tribal villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and will live in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle, raising half-caste children who will be sent abroad to be educated before returning to the Gold Coast to serve as administrators of the empire. Esi, imprisoned beneath Effia in the Castle’s women’s dungeon and then shipped off on a boat bound for America, will be sold into slavery. Stretching from the tribal wars of Ghana to slavery and the Civil War in America, from the coal mines in the American South to the Great Migration to twentieth-century Harlem, Yaa Gyasi’s novel moves through histories and geographies and captures—with outstanding economy and force—the troubled spirit of our own nation. She has written a modern masterpiece.

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Quotes & Awards

  • No novel has better illustrated the way in which racism became institutionalized in this country. Vogue
  • “Gyasi’s characters are so fully realized, so elegantly carved…She does not scold. She does not excuse. And she does not romanticize.”

    Ta-Nehisi Coates, #1 New York Times bestselling author

  • “A novel at once epic and intimate, capturing the moral weight of history as it bears down on individual struggles, hopes, and fears.”

    Phil Klay, National Book Award winner and New York Times bestselling author

  • “A patchwork mastery of historical fiction.”

    Elle

  • “Epic…astonishing…page-turning.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “No novel has better illustrated the way in which racism became institutionalized in this country.”

    Vogue

  • “The speed with which Gyasi sweeps across the decades isn’t confusing so much as dazzling, creating a kind of time-elapsed photo of black lives in America and in the motherland…Truly captivating.”

    Washington Post

  • “Remarkable…compelling…powerful.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Gyasi’s characters may be fictional, but their stories are representative of a range of experience that is all too real and difficult to uncover…In her ambitious and sweeping novel, Gyasi has made these lost stories a little more visible.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Rich, epic…Each chapter is tightly plotted, and there are suspenseful, even spectacular climaxes.”

    New York Magazine


  • "Dazzling."

    Mother Jones

  • “Courageous…[Gyasi] approaches tough topics with unflinching honesty.”

    Washington Independent Review of Books

  • “A memorable epic of changing families and changing nations.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Narrator Dominic Hoffman does a masterful job…Hoffman’s deep baritone maximizes the myriad feelings at the heart of this sprawling historical tale…Hoffman’s performance captures the rhythms of West-African English, giving authenticity to the listening experience. This audiobook will keep listeners enthralled with these fierce heroines for hours.”

    AudioFile

  • An NPR Best Book of 2016
  • An Oprah Magazine Top 10 Book of the Year for 2016
  • Audie Award Winner for Best Narration in Literary Fiction
  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
  • A LibraryReads Pick for June 2016
  • A BookPage Top Pick for June 2016
  • An Elle Magazine Pick for Best Summer Reads
  • A 2016 Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize Shortlist Selection
  • Longlisted for the 2017 Carnegie Medal for Literature

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Deirdre | 12/20/2016

    " Great, great book "

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About the Author

Yaa Gyasi was born in Ghana and raised in Huntsville, Alabama. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and lives in Berkeley, California.

About the Narrator

Dominic Hoffman, winner of numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards for narration, is a Los Angeles–based actor of stage, screen, and television. He has appeared in such television shows as The Shield, NYPD Blue, and The Jamie Foxx Show. He attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art as well as the American Conservatory Theater.