Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

5-stars2

TW – Slavery, sexual abuse

As you know, February is Black History Month. That’s why I decided to talk about one of the books written by a black author that greatly touched me : the BRILLIANT book that’s Homegoing. I don’t even know how many times I fell in love and got my heart broken but DAMN IT WAS WORTH IT.

The truth is though, many readers won’t read it, because of several excuses :

First off : Homegoing deals with slavery, through an incredible family saga. The truth is, I’ve always been wary of sentences like, we already know about this so let’s move on.

Haha.

We see how it goes when people *think* they know enough about History.

Proof #1 – French people rewriting history and stating things like, “we fought in 1940 so fuck off refugees!”

I’m sorry WHAAAAT? Nope most didn’t. Nope. Stop saying this. STOP. You’re merely showing how uneducated you are. Same with the ones who think that the EU was created solely for fighting the United States. Can you just stop? It’s starting to get embarrassing, Trump.

Proof #2 – Two days ago I’ve read a comment on Facebook stating that “Palestinians were just ARABS who should come back to their country of origin.”

Oh my God school is GREAT. TRY IT.

Proof # 3 – And then you have this :

(you can read her post here)

The disheartening and offensive papers this poor prof had to read show again that what we can be fairly uneducated on subjects we *think* we know, and in my opinion,
1) it’s never too early to start educating people about this and
2) we have to reevaluate what we know fairly often because our self-assessment scale is often broken.

About my first point : of course we’re not going to teach slavery in Kindergarten, BUT children of 8 to 10 can start dealing with these subjects. In my class, for example, I teach the broad lines of triangular trades, according to the National curriculum. Yes, we talk about how Bordeaux and Nantes’s merchants became rich because of it, and at this point, I don’t care if some pupils come from these families. They need to know it even more, because… you don’t get to be proud, guys. You don’t. I don’t care about fake patriotism. It’s unhealthy to create some phantasmagoric history of your country. It always is. I think that one of the worst misunderstandings these days is that bullshit that makes people say that you are being unpatriotic if you point your country’s flaws and horrors. It’s the opposite, guys. I am being patriotic when I talk about the French involvement in slavery. I am, because I am trying to make my country better in the future. By hiding behind fake news and rewritten history, you are not. You are missing the point entirely, because what you’re so proud of isn’t your country but merely a fake, dangerous and empty shell.

Then there comes the compelling excuse. “I’m not reading that serious book of yours, I’m here for the entertainment, ha!” You know what though? Homegoing is compelling and enthralling, I fell in love twenty times, my heart constantly breaking itself then healing then breaking then – the FEELS. .

So. Let’s sum it up, shall we?
1. You’re gonna fall in love and ship the fuck out of some of them and care and she manages to do that in 20 pages EVERY FUCKING TIME. Brilliant.
2. You’re gonna be captivated and forget everything that is not these characters.
3. The FEELS. Prepare your heart because WOW OKAY? I felt so offended and furious and despaired and FULL.
4. You’ll be a little further from an ignorant jerk. IN OUR WORLD THAT COUNTS.
5. It’s an ownvoice novel.
6. The writing is perfect did I say that????

Tell me now why you shouldn’t read this book**

Fucking tell me.

** Slavery is a very tough subject for some readers because of their family history. I deeply respect that, and these readers aren’t those I am talking about here. I am not talking about POC readers who are already educated on these subjects. I am talking about readers who don’t want to read “slavery books” but don’t see the problem in romanticizing it, or readers who think slavery is a “old times subject”. It isn’t. Sadly, it really isn’t.

reviews-around-the-world

In this section I’ll share reviews from other reviewers, go read them! They’re amazing ♥

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5 responses to “Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

  1. This review is SO NECESSARY. Thank you. I can’t believe the excuses some people will give in order to maintain their close-minded views of the world.

    And I know that it is still early in the year, but Homegoing is a very strong contender for the best book of 2017.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! It was my favorite book of last year, by far ♥

      And I know, I don’t understand either. I just don’t. People would rather read novels where slavery is used as a plot device – and romanticized, ugh – but shy away from books like this? It tires me so, so much.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Agreed. I think that’s why homegoing is so important, because it talks about necessary topics whilst still being entertaining, as you rightly pointed out in your review. There’s literally no excuse.
        (Though I would maybe put a trigger warning for sexual abuse?)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Diversity Spotlight Thursday | #4 | Meet the Book World·

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