Yaa Gyasi 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, where she held a Dean’s Graduate Research Fellowship. Her first novel, Homegoing, an epic novel tracking the parallel lives of two half sisters and their descendants through eight generations, from eighteenth century Ghana to present-day America, was named ‘Debut Novel of the Year’ by NPR and ‘2016 Notable Book’ by The New York Times. Her follow up, Transcendent Kingdom, is an intimate, layered novel about a Ghanaian family in Alabama. It paints a portrait of a family of immigrants ravaged by depression and addiction and grief, piecing together a story about faith, science, religion, love.
Photo courtesy of Peter Hurley/Vilcek Foundation