Yaa Gyasi

Yaa Gyasi

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Yaa Gyasi at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop

Iowa Writers' Workshop (Dey House)
507 North Clinton Street, Iowa City, Iowa

In this article on Yaa Gyasi in SF Gate by Eli Wolfe, Wolfe describes Gyasi’s writing process while she was a student at the University of Iowa:

She was relieved when she was accepted to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 2012. In Iowa, Gyasi was finally able to unpack the novel she had been carrying around for three years. Gyasi worked slowly and methodically, sometimes advancing only 200 words a day. But when she completed the novel in 2015 and her agent sent it to publishers, the offers flooded in immediately, culminating in a seven-figure advance that she received from Knopf.

Wolfe, Eli. “How Yaa Gyasi Found Her Story in Slavers’ Outpost.” SFGate, San Francisco Chronicle, 28 June 2016.


Yaa Gyasi reading, Live from Prairie Lights

Prairie Lights Bookstore
15 South Dubuque Street, Iowa City Iowa

In this archive from the Writing University Archive, Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate Yaa Gyasi reads from and talks about her New York Times bestselling novel, Homegoing. The novel, which has garnered a huge amount of attention, is the story of two half-sisters, separated by forces beyond their control: one sold into slavery, the other married to a British slaver. Written with tremendous sweep and power, Homegoing traces the generations of family who follow, as their destinies lead them through two continents and three hundred years of history, each life indelibly drawn, as the legacy of slavery is full revealed in light of the present day.

The University of Iowa Libraries, Writing University Archive


Yaa Gyasi’s Graduate Thesis at the University of Iowa Libraries

University of Iowa Main Library
125 West Washington St.

Yaa Gyasi’s Graduate College Master’s Thesis “African America” can be found in the Special Collections at the University of Iowa Libraries. Gyasi’s thesis advisor was Lan Samamtha Chang.

Gyasi, Yaa. “African American.” University of Iowa Graduate College Master’s Thesis, 2014.

Yaa Gyasi’s debut novel, Homegoing, won the National Book Critics Circle award, the PEN/Hemingway Award, and the American Book Award. Gyasi received her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.


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