11 comments on “Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi | Book Review

  1. You make a really good point about how the book deals with Gifty’s sexuality. My sense was that she hadn’t fully come to terms with it herself, and so doesn’t interrogate it like she does other aspects of her life.

    • That’s definitely a good theory! Given the novel’s look at the frustration of not having all the answers, I can see that might be what Gyasi was going for. I suppose the rest of the book was so intersectional in its commentary that I kept expecting it to dive deeper into Gifty’s specific views on sexuality, meaning the thread ultimately felt unfinished to me.

  2. I am glad you enjoyed it, even if it took you a while to be caught in. Actually, I thought it was quite nice, that her relations to both men and women (or at least one of each) weren’t given special attention, but felt like a natural part of life. Of course, now you point it out, it was perhaps out of character, but I felt her fear of getting too close to other people messed up her relations to the extent that she boxed in many of her feelings relating to these relationships, hence didn’t reflect upon them the way she did about most other things.

    • I totally agree! In pretty much any other case, I would have adored the casual references to her sexuality; I just felt with Gifty’s particular upbringing and worldview, the author had a chance to tap into some great additional commentary on internalised shame. Still, it was a very impressive read on the whole. 😊

  3. Great review! I’ve been looking forward to this and I think you review has got me even more excited, even if the novel does falter in places.

  4. Pingback: March Wrap Up | Callum McLaughlin

  5. Fantastic review! I’m so glad you ended up liking so much about this one, and your note about the book’s failure to explore Gifty’s sexuality through the same lens as the other major topics in her life is an intriguing one- I wholeheartedly loved this book, but I think you’re right about that being one aspect that could have made it even better.

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