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Simmons Community Read: Transcendent Kingdom: Read

A guide for the Fall 2021 Simmons Community Read
transcendent kingdom

About the Book


transcendent kingdom book cover

Yaa Gyasi's stunning follow-up to her acclaimed national bestseller Homegoing is "a book of blazing brilliance" (The Washington Post)—a powerful, raw, intimate, deeply layered novel about a Ghanaian family in Alabama.

Gifty is a sixth-year PhD candidate in neuroscience at the Stanford University 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 an ankle 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.

Transcendent Kingdom is a deeply moving portrait of a family of Ghanaian immigrants ravaged by depression and addiction and grief--a novel about faith, science, religion, love. Exquisitely written, emotionally searing, this is an exceptionally powerful follow-up to Gyasi's phenomenal debut.

- Penguin Random House; Sound Cloud

Content Warnings

Some themes in Transcendent Kingdom may cause discomfort or a relapse of trauma for some readers. Please use the resources on the Mental Health & Wellbeing page to address your mental health needs while reading, or engaging in discussions related to this book. 

Where to Read

Find and read your copy of the eBook here.

Hint: eBooks can only be read online. For downloadable versions, check your local library or purchase your own from various online booksellers. Contact the library at if you are having trouble accessing these books.