Yaa Gyasi lecture rescheduled for tonight

By Abby Rinaldi, Staff Writer
On March 21, 2017

Yaa Gyasi, author of New York Times best-seller “Homegoing,” will lecture March 22 at the USF Sam and Martha Gibbons Alumni Center.

Gyasi was originally going to speak Feb. 9, but her lecture was canceled because of bad weather that led to her flight being canceled. As with the original lecture, the event is free and open to the public.

The doors will open at 7 p.m. Also, as per the original plan, Gyasi will do a book singing after the lecture. Attendees can purchase her book, “Homegoing,” at the event.

Gyasi is a Ghanian-American and, at age 26, has already received multiple awards and had TV appearances after the release of "Homegoing,” which is her first novel.

Gyasi’s novel is about the descendants of two women in Ghana. These descendants of the two women lead lives in both the U.S. and Ghana in various time periods. The story covers 300 years and discusses the African diaspora and slave trade between Ghana and the U.S. The book is structured into a series of vignettes that allow brief glimpses into the lives of characters.

In an interview on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Gyasi spoke about her writing process and how she came to the sectioned style that she used in writing her book.

“Initially I had wanted to write a more traditionally structured novel, one that kind of took place in the present and then just flashed back to 18th century Ghana, but the more I thought about it and the longer I worked on it, I realized that I kind of wanted to be able to track how slavery and colonialism and institutionalized racism and all of these things combined changed really subtly over a very long period of time and allow reader to sort of see that through line as it moved, and once I realized that I knew that I wanted a structure that would allow me to stop in as many generations as possible,” Gyasi said.

In that interview she said the process of writing this book took almost exactly seven years, the starting point being a trip to Ghana. USF College of Arts and Sciences Dean Eric Eisenberg told The Oracle in February Gyasi will speak more on her writing process and the broader topics discussed in her book during her lecture at USF, as well as talk about the immigrant experience and the African-American experience in the U.S. 

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