This month’s pick for the Austin360 Book Club powered by TBF is Transcendent Kingdom by #1 New York Times bestselling author of Homegoing and 2020 Texas Book Festival author Yaa Gyasi.
Yaa Gyasi’s second novel is an emotionally searing, powerful, and intimate portrait of a Ghanian immigrant family living in Alabama who is ravaged by depression, addiction, and grief.
Gifty is a fifth-year candidate in neuroscience at Stanford School of Medicine 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 a knee 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 evangelical church in which she was raised, whose promise of salvation remains as tantalizing as it is elusive. This exquisitely written follow-up to Gyasi’s phenomenal debut explores questions of faith, science, religion, and love.
Past 2020 book club picks:
- October: Dear Justyce by Nic Stone
- September: The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
- August: Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
- July: The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin
- June: How We Fight for Our Lives by Saeed Jones
- May: The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
- April: Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang
- March: My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell
- February: You and I Eat the Same edited by Chris Ying
- January: Trust Exercise by Susan Choi