Yaa Gyasi and ‘Transcendent Kingdom’

May 20, 2021

Now that we have announced our awesome Go Big Read book for 2021-2022, here’s a little more about the book and it’s author, Yaa Gyasi.

Transcendent Kingdom follows the story of Gifty, a PhD candidate in neuroscience at the Stanford University School of Medicine who studies reward-seeking behavior in mice as it relates to depression and addiction.

Throughout the book, Gifty grapples with understanding and reconciling her work in the hard sciences with her religious upbringing while also dealing with her depressed mother, who is living in Gifty’s bed, and the remaining trauma of losing her brother Nana to a heroin overdose. This story also addresses issues with immigration and reconciling different cultures, race, and family.

Transcendent Kingdom Book Cover

Transcendent Kingdom was recently longlisted for the 2021 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction as well as the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction.

This year’s Go Big Read book was written by author, Yaa Gyasi.

2021-2022 Go Big Read Author, Yaa Gyasi

Gyasi, who lives in Brooklyn, New York, 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. Her first novel Homegoing, published in 2016, won Gyasi the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Award for best first book, the PEN/Hemingway Award for a first book of fiction, the National Book Foundation’s “5 under 35” honors for 2016, and the American Book Award.

For more information on Yaa Gyasi and Transcendent Kingdom, check out the publisher’s website: Transcendent Kingdom

Olivia Poches

Student Assistant, Go Big Read Office