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Transcendent Kingdom von Yaa Gyasi
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Transcendent Kingdom (Original 2020; 2021. Auflage)

von Yaa Gyasi (Autor)

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
6964524,102 (4.01)63
Titel:Transcendent Kingdom
Autoren:Yaa Gyasi (Autor)
Info:Viking (2021), 288 pages
Sammlungen:monthly, Deine Bibliothek


Transcendent Kingdom von Yaa Gyasi (2020)

Kürzlich hinzugefügt vonbujeya, forsanolim, private Bibliothek, LostWordsBooks, suicidebybooks, AlliLea, alex-vf,, FinaleOfSeem, dvnmng
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I'm really not sure how well summarizing this novel's plot (such that it is) is really helpful here. At any rate, though, the story centers on Gifty, a neuroscience grad student at Stanford working on addiction and reward-seeking behavior in mice. Her family are Ghanaian immigrants living in Alabama; she grew up mostly with her mother and brother, and her brother died of an overdose in high school. In a lot of ways, the story is centered around grief, and I feel like it's fair to describe it as a meditation on grief and addiction and love and faith and science.

I really liked this. I can definitely see why people might not love it--the story's completely nonlinear, assembling episodes from Gifty's life with absolutely no chronological ordering; and there's really not that much of a traditional plot--but I found it hard-hitting and lovely. Though I guess that I haven't really read that many, I think of myself as generally really liking books that discuss themes of faith and science, and this one was no exception. ( )
  forsanolim | Apr 17, 2021 |
I listened to Ms Gyasi's first book, Homegoing, and it was such a great experience I didn't hesitate to get the audiobook download for this, her second book. I wasn't quite as impressed by this book as by Homegoing but it was still an engaging listen. Homegoing is a hard act to follow.

Gifty is a doctoral student in neuroscience at Stanford University when she gets a phone call from her mother's pastor in Alabama that her mother is deeply depressed. Gifty asks the pastor to send her to California and says she will look after her. Once her mother arrives she crawls into Gifty's bed and stays there for days. Having her mother in her apartment causes Gifty to reminisce about her childhood when her mother went through a similar depressive episode. That one was triggered by Gifty's older brother's opiod overdose death. He became addicted to opiods after injuring himself during a basketball game. Gifty's research project was inspired by this tragedy as she examines the brains of mice to see if addictions can be reversed. As a child Gifty was quite religious but after her brother's death she turned away from religion. However, she still has a belief in God and struggles to reconcile this with the precepts of science. The relationship between Gifty and her mother was never particularly close; her mother made no secret of the fact that the brother was her favourite child and she had never wanted Gifty (although it is interesting that the name chosen for the child means, in English, something treasured). This emotional lack has made Gifty unwilling to enter into any other close relationships. So while her mother lies almost comatose in her bedroom Gifty relives her life and finally comes to a realization that she can't help her mother until she opens up to other people.

There are some interesting themes in this book but I'm not sure they were successfully tied together. ( )
  gypsysmom | Mar 28, 2021 |
Transcendent Kingdom, Yaa Gyasi’s follow-up to her immensely-praised debut novel, Homegoing, is a coming-of-age novel about Gifty, a young woman who is the only one in her family to have been born in the United States. Her parents left Ghana to settle in Huntsville, Alabama, when Gifty’s brother Nana was still a baby. Nana was the baby their parents prayed for but had just about given up on ever seeing; when Gifty came along several years later; it was far more a shock than it was a surprise.

Gifty, the book’s narrator, is now a sixth-year PHD candidate in Stanford’s neuroscience program, but she has always felt like the under-appreciated outsider in her family. She was born in America, she is by far the youngest in the family, she is female, and she is the only one of them without at least some personal memory of life in Ghana. Despite Gifty’s intellectual brilliance, once Nana reveals himself as one of the best high school basketball players in Alabama, it is Nana who becomes the family’s superstar. And that’s the way it stays right up until Nana dies from an overdose of heroin. That the boy only became a heroin addict after first getting hooked on doctor-prescribed OxyContin as the result of an athletic injury is no consolation. He is dead, her mother becomes suicidal, and Gifty dedicates the rest of her life to trying to figure out why it all happened the way that it did.

Gifty is well into her twenties when the story begins, but she is still struggling to figure out who she is - or wants to be. Her life has already been so scarred by her family’s multiple battles with addiction, depression, and loss that she is determined to discover a scientific explanation for why some people are prone to addiction and others not. Aiming for the stars, Gifty dreams of finding a real cure for depression and addiction. First, however, she has to reconcile the different versions of herself that already exist: the little girl raised on Christian evangelism, the black girl carrying all the associated baggage of growing up in the Deep South, the young woman who values her privacy over having friends, the woman simultaneously struggling with her faith in God and her sexuality, and the brilliant scientist she is fast becoming.

Bottom Line: Transcendent Kingdom is for the most part a beautifully written story about a unique American family, one that is coming apart at the seams. It is told in a flashback fashion that makes Nana seem very much alive despite the fact that readers learn of his death in the book’s first few pages or via the book jacket itself. And up to about the book’s ninety-percent mark, I was certain that it was going to be one of my favorite books of 2021 before it stalled and I found myself becoming impatient for it to reach its conclusion. I found all the internal philosophizing that occurs after the book has reached - and moved beyond - its climax to be just too much. That said, Yaa Gyasi is a very talented writer and I look forward to reading more of her work. ( )
  SamSattler | Mar 16, 2021 |
I’m always in awe of authors who write a super easy readable book with a great plot and plenty of substance. Gifty is a girl who experiences a lot of loss in her life. Religion is a touchstone for her even when she doesn’t go to church. She believes in science and God. That’s the substance of the book. The plot is the story of her life. A father who abandons the family and goes back to Ghana. A brother who dies from an overdose and a mother who suffers from severe depression. And despite all that Gifty makes something of her life. ( )
  kayanelson | Mar 13, 2021 |
old from the perspective from the very intelligent daughter who is in herr sixth year of a Ph.D. program in neuroscience, this is a powerful tale.

While Giffy experiments in her lab with mice who are addicted to ensure, and sustain a might shock when their tiny pays push the level for more, more, more. Giffy is watching the mice and hoping to know the workings of the human brain that craves drugs despite the risk of overdose, a struggle she and her mother watch as her once bound-for-success basketball star brother is in the throes of a heroin addiction.

The family of four came from Ghana to the United States. When her father returns to Ghana, looking to resume the longed for the life of friendship and love they had in Ghana, Giffy and her mother are left to watch as daily Nana tries to kick his habit to no avail.

Life is difficult in the U.S. Giffy's mother finds work as a home health care worker taking care of those at end stages of life while Giffy is consumed with trying to understand the inter workings of addiction.

Their mother is deeply religious and feels as though God will solve everything, if only she prays hard enough. Members of a conservative church in Alabama, there are no answers via the church. When Nana was a star basketball player, there were circles of church members who called him to the front so they could envelope him while praying for a win at the next game.

However, when it is known that Nana struggles with addiction, there is no envelopment, only judgement. The only people of color in an all white church, they long to belong and find solace.

When Nana is found by police, dead in a parking lot, dead of an overdose, Giffy's mother spins deep into depression. Staying in her bed day and night, she refuses to find purpose.

When Giffy is praying in a room at church, she overhears the white women basically say, that it was inevitable that Nana would die of drug overdose, after all, that is what happens to "those people of color. It is the way they live."

Struggling for answers both from God and from the mice who endlessly tap the lever delivering ensure despite the nasty shock, we are invited into Giffy's journey of pain and lack of understanding.

Superbly written, without a word wasted, this is a book worthy of many honors! ( )
  Whisper1 | Mar 13, 2021 |
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