2021-2022 Go Big Read: Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

Cover of Transcendent Kingdom

Gifty is a PhD candidate in neuroscience studying reward-seeking behavior in mice and the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Her brother, Nana, was a gifted high school athlete who died of a heroin overdose after an ankle injury left him hooked on OxyContin. Her suicidal mother is living in her bed. Gifty is determined to discover the scientific basis for the suffering she sees all around her. But even as she turns to the hard sciences to unlock the mystery of her family’s loss, she finds herself hungering for her childhood faith and grappling with the church in which she was raised. It’s a moving portrait of a family of Ghanaian immigrants in a novel about faith, science, religion, love.

Chancellor Rebecca Blank
University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank is pictured outside Bascom Hall on July 30, 2013. (Photo by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison)

Press Release

Read Chancellor Blank’s Press Release about the book: Novel ‘Transcendent Kingdom’ chosen as UW–Madison’s 2021-22 Go Big Read book

Virtual Keynote Event
Featuring Yaa Gyasi (author) and Prof. Ainehi Edoro-Glines (discussant)
Archived Video of Keynote Event (Restricted to UW Affiliates)

Book Resources

Author & Book Info

Book Discussion Toolkit (developed by Go Big Read program)

Go Big Read Marketing Toolkit

Reading Guide and Discussion Questions for Transcendent Kingdom (developed by Go Big Read program)

New York Times Book Review

Washington Post Book Review

NPR Interview