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Transcendent Kingdom: Shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2021 Hardcover – Import, 4 March 2021

4.4 out of 5 stars 5,555 ratings

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Hardcover, Import, 4 March 2021
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A piercing story of faith, science and the opioid crisis . . . Transcendent Kingdom really sings. There's bravery as well as beauty hereObserver

Transcendent Kingdom is a novel for all times

Absolutely transcendent. A gorgeously woven narrative . . . not a word or idea out of place. I am quite angry this is so goodRoxane Gay

Transcendent Kingdom is a quietly magnificent novel - vivid, touching and beautifully written, and also unafraid to be, and to remain, really very sad. ― i

Her equally outstanding second novel, Transcendent Kingdom, smaller in scale, is another graceful exploration of trauma reverberating through a family...introspective and intimateSunday Telegraph

This novel is an unflinching account of loss, but it is also a moving tribute to the ability of the human spirit to endure such tragediesThe Times

Gyasi's novel is a thoughtful analysis of a pressing social problemMail on Sunday

Among other things [Transcendent Kingdom] is a sharp reckoning with the tensions between race, science and religion...its scope is pared back, its register intimate - not many writers can switch style like thisSunday Times Culture

A powerful portrayal of love and faith that reminds us how our parents' actions can ripple through generationsTelegraph

[A] mightily enjoyable novelDaily Mail

Perhaps neither science nor religion alone could capture transcendence, but Gyasi has proved, once again, that a novel can ― Guardian

A book of blazing brilliance . . . A double helix of wisdom and rage twists through the quiet lines of this novel. Yaa Gyasi is one of the most enlightening novelists writing todayWashington Post

A compelling look at a woman's struggle to move on from the devastating effects of her family falling apart in front of her eyesStylist

The must-read book of the year so farElle

A powerful, wholly unsentimental novel about family love, loss, belonging and belief that is more focused but just as daring as its predecessor, and to my mind even more successful ― Wall Street Journal

Gyasi's second novel, Transcendent Kingdom, is a very different book, and, I think, a better one - contemporary, personal, acutely focused on a single family, and intensely feltNew Yorker

Exquisitely written with a lightness of touch despite its difficult themes; this novel is a triumphRed

Raw, powerful storytelling that tackles race, religion, addiction and grief in a thoughtful way ― Good Housekeeping

With deft agility and undeniable artistry, Gyasi's latest is an eloquent examination of resilient survivalBooklist

The Ghanaian-American has become a firm literary favour...Transcendent Kingdom is sure to cement her spot furtherStylist

Meticulous, psychologically complex ... At once a vivid evocation of the immigrant experience and a sharp delineation of an individual's inner struggle, the novel brilliantly succeeds on both counts

Publishers Weekly, starred review

Transcendent Kingdom is quiet in the way a wise soul will sit in the corner, clear their throat and when they speak, everyone listens...Transcendent Kingdom is a book always asking this question: how did we get here?Bad Form Review

The range Gyasi displays in just two books is staggeringUSA Today

Remarkable, a devastating account of America . . . explores horror without ever losing sight of humanity or hopeSunday Times on 'Homegoing'

A stirringly gifted writer. It's impossible not to admire the ambition and scope of HomegoingNew York Times

If you want to know why the world is this way, try this book for startersNaomi Alderman, author of The Power

I need a book like this to remember what is possible

Beautifully written . . . a raw look at the personal destruction caused by the opioid crisis ― Scotsman

A poignant story of family love, loss and ambition Radio Times

Yaa Gyasi's writing is shining even as the tangled traumas of the past come to the surfaceSainsbury's Magazine

'Yaa's depiction of these illnesses; substance addiction and depression and the family's deep-rooted tangled traumas, is skilful . . . Transcendent Kingdom is a story of love, loss and redemption, and holds a mirror up to one version of the first-generation immigrant experience that will sadly seem familiar to many of us ― Melan Mag

About the Author

Yaa Gyasi was born in Mampong, Ghana, and raised in Huntsville, Alabama. Her first novel, Homegoing, was a Sunday Times bestseller, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Best First Novel and was shortlisted for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction. In 2017 Yaa Gyasi was selected as one of Granta's Best of Young American Novelists and in 2019 the BBC selected her debut as one of the 100 Novels that Shaped Our World. Her second book, Transcendent Kingdom, was shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction and is a New York Times bestseller.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Viking (4 March 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 256 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0241433371
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0241433379
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 450 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 16.2 x 2.6 x 24 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 5,555 ratings

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
5,555 global ratings
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Top reviews from India

Reviewed in India on 24 January 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars Transcend into brilliance
By Sahil Pradhan on 24 January 2021

It is all we search for don’t we? The word though having it’s origin of meaning in something heavenly and beyond human touch, has its true explanation somewhere deep within the human heart. You let in all the pain and all the hurt that comes with being a human to bind you and clasp you in it’s chain, you too love that state, secretly but surely. But when you fight through it and try to break it, that is when you create your own transcendence state, your own heavenly body within the organ systemic human body. Beyond all the definitions of science and far from all the cautions of religion, you merge with a superior power, that is nowhere but within you, that is everything yet nothing but hope and the bliss it emanates.

Yaa Gyasi taught me this in her sophomore novel “Transcendent Kingdom”. A family broken apart gives rise to the most powerful of beings as the next generation, or the most weakest of bonds and links, for that is what Homo Sapiens make themselves of and affiliate themselves about. Gifty’s father went back to Ghana under the weight and increasing burden of American racism, her brother succumbed to opiod addiction when the doctor advised OxyCotin for a basketball injury, her mother left comatose by all of this spiralled into the abyss of depression and is left bedridden. All signs of escapism, which Gifty and her mother don’t show because they know how to fight.

Amidst all of this Gifty stands strong, does a PhD in neurology in Harvard, takes in her breaking and failing mother, conflicts within the being of neutrality: neither does she stop believing in the beauty of the Bible and it’s thoughts nor does she leave her scientist rationality and believes everything through godly lenses, fights with the silent racism that is in the air they breathe as she says “I did not want to be a woman in science. A Black Woman in science.” She is the actual transcendent state and her kingdom is the one Gyasi has so beautifully and fiercely traded words from.

This is how you break from the “rooster coop” and not through cheating or murdering, through acts of defiance, small and subtle, fierce and beautiful, courageous and enchanting, learn “The White Tiger” (s) learn, this is how you transcendent.

“I wanted to flay any mental weakness off my body like fascia from muscle.”

How complex is being human? In Transcendent Kingdom, Yaa Gyasi allows her pen to dip into the complexes of human minds and it’s myriad chemical transmutations: some giving birth to hatred, apartheid, racism and forms like “their kind has a taste for drugs”, “their kind is likely the one who is poor and thus they steal”, “their kind does not stay clean”, some to being a victim of all of this, some to fighting all of this as Gifty says “I had to prove something and nothing but blazing brilliance was enough to prove it.” Not only does Gyasi talks about the various dynamics of the mental weakness part but even travels through the land of America and the racism it so easily seeps out and does not even care, it is only recently that slowly the chain is breaking.

“Do we have control over our thoughts? When I was a child this was a religious question,” she says, “but it is also, of course, a neuroscientific question.” Gyasi talks about the narrow mindedness of both science and religion, same as Dan Brown discusses at length in his book Angels and Demons, about how scientists working along with her at Stanford are “atheists” and how her family “blindly believes God is everything and the reason for all not science”.“The Christians in my life would find it blasphemous,” she says, “and the scientists would find it embarrassing.” It is amidst through this environment and surrounding that Gifty has to swerve through to emerge victorious at the other side: to find a new life, to grow out of the familial pain, to keep up with the world, to know her worth, to show her worth, but most importantly to find and build her own “transcendent kingdom” which would be beyond human touch and human troubles, where both extremes of science and religion merge and mingle to create magic.

Transcendent Kingdom is intense, in every sense of word. It’s intensity creeps on you, slowly. You find yourself registering Gyasi’s most startling images — an egg with its shell dissolved; a mouse with a psychosomatic limp — only after you are through with the book and have kept it aside for sometime of quietness. It is deceptive, the quiet you are searching for, within all of that niceties there is someone screaming and caught inside a spider web of gossamer and darkness.
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Reviewed in India on 31 March 2021
One person found this helpful
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Reviewed in India on 19 September 2020
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4.0 out of 5 stars I fell for the good writing and the urgent themes it represents!
By Reading_Tam_Ishly on 19 September 2020
I haven't read the first book by the author but once I started reading this latest release, I got completely hooked!

This is the story of Gifty who now works as a PHD candidate doing research with mice regarding addiction and drug dependence.

The story goes back and forth how she grew up with her mom, her brother and her almost absent dad. The story is centred on depression, racism and discrimination, poverty, a dysfunctional family, drug addiction, death, grief and religion.

This story is heartbreaking. But I feel like the main character is developed in such a way as if to tell whatever hardships come, you have to face them head-on. I love her character. She isn't perfect; she isn't your outspoken female character but what she's is what she is - single handedly took care of her career and her difficult mother till the end.

It tries to tell that as long as you succeed, everybody's your well-wisher. But the moment you lose, everyone just stops caring even if you drop dead. Yes, that's the case here.

The important lesson I learnt from this is that even if you have a toxic family, there's nothing else that's more important than your family. Even if you want to escape and run away, the best is to do something for yourself alongside supporting your family when they need you.

Trigger warnings for drug misuse, addiction, suicidal tendency and self-harm, domestic violence

The writing is beautiful. However, I feel th jie book could have ended better.
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Top reviews from other countries

5.0 out of 5 stars Ticked every box (even those I didn't know I had.. )
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 6 April 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ticked every box (even those I didn't know I had.. )
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 6 April 2021
Yaa Gyasi's 'Transcendent Kingdom' creatively explores the dynamism of faith and mental health amongst 1st/2nd gen immigrants while somehow walking you through a Post-Doc Stanford
Neuroscience thesis in a coherent way?! It ticked every box for me - can't recommend it enough!
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2 people found this helpful
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Mrs. J. Watkinson
4.0 out of 5 stars Still a good read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 5 November 2020
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3 people found this helpful
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A. B. Biney
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb storyteller
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 April 2021
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Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a novel about science, religion and addiction
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 8 May 2021
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Fifa Rahman
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I’ve read it a long time
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 20 June 2021
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