Transcendent Kingdom

Transcendent Kingdom

Large Print - 2020
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"A novel about faith, science, religion, and family that tells the deeply moving portrait of a family of Ghanaian immigrants ravaged by depression and addiction and grief, narrated by a fifth year candidate in neuroscience at Stanford school of medicine studying the neural circuits of reward seeking behavior in mice."--
Publisher: New York, New York : Random House Large Print, ♭2020.
Edition: Large print edition.
ISBN: 9780593215333
Characteristics: 401 pages ;,24 cm.

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Hillsboro_RobP Feb 11, 2021

A deeply personal look into the life of a 2nd generation Ghanian immigrant in the united states, her relationship with her mother, her brother's addiction, and God. An aching and heartfelt exploration of identity, mental health, spirituality and character.

JCLLisaA Feb 03, 2021

This is the first book by Gyasi I've read, but I'm eager now to read her debut novel. Transcendent Kingdom is smartly and compassionately written, a beautiful look into complicated, complex feelings and relationships. I like the parallel threads Gyasi weaves together: mother/daughter, siblings, drug addiction, professional drive, legacy, otherness.

VaughanPLRachelP Feb 02, 2021

This is such a powerful, personal novel. In Yaa Gyasi's second novel, Gifty is a neuroscience PhD student reflecting on how her science education is (or isn't) at odds with her religious upbringing, and how her childhood trauma informed her future. This novel is very introspective, written in the first person, primarily with Gifty ruminating on her past. I read this more for the experience of reading than for the plot - so if you do read more for plot, you may find it slow moving. But I thought it was just absolutely stunning.

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EljayJohnson
Jan 19, 2021

Gifty, who we meet as a doctoral candidate in a rigorous science discipline, was a pious and devout evangelical Christian as a child - as she puts it: "I spoke in tongues. The whole thing." She was raised in Alabama, the child of Ghanian immigrant parents, in a world far away from the cold laboratories of Stanford. She experienced much trauma, including abandonment, poverty, mental health issues and drug addiction of family members, and a loss of faith. And that's where we find the adult Gifty, wrestling with her same questions for both science and God, and she will not feel whole until she reaches some conclusions. I found Gifty's story very moving and Gyasi has given us a masterful exploration of someone looking for answers; personal, religious, and scientific.
Also, this is Gyasi's second novel and I read her Homegoing last year and thought it was wonderful. But the two books could not be more different and it's difficult to believe the same author wrote both. The range of this young author is amazing and I can't wait to see what she does next.

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KatG1983
Jan 11, 2021

Gyasi is a skilled and beautiful writer. Her work feels deeply personal, and her narrative style is easy to immerse yourself in. Transcendent Kingdom examines the intersection faith and science, and how they play out in terms of mental health and addiction. It's a difficult subject matter, and the book took me longer to read than I imagined it would b/c of that. I would say that I preferred Gyasi's debut novel, and I don't think Kingdom lives up to that, but definitely still worth your time.

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NANCY STAUFFER
Jan 02, 2021

Review in The Week

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WeBeYYC
Dec 26, 2020

wash post rec

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Dec 26, 2020

Beautiful, layered look at a family of immigrants from Ghana. The family's faith traditions are Pentecostal and suffers from mental illness and addiction, and the lead character is working on a PhD in neuro chemistry. Lots of big ideas about science v faith AND how those two things intersect with addiction and how it works.

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sgcf
Dec 17, 2020

This is a soul searching, introspective story as the protagonist grapples with her evangelical roots,
her longing to recognize a God, and her neuroscience research work for her PhD. Gyasi deftly
explores these themes as well as immigration, racism in Alabama, mental health, and addiction. A
thoughtful and emotional read.

JCLJenV Dec 11, 2020

A novel seeking to find understanding about life’s mysteries. I love how the main character processed her spiritual journey from childhood to adulthood.

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