Each year Madison Public Library partners with UW-Madison to extend the perennially popular Go Big Read program into the broader community.
The 2021-2022 Go Big Read selection is the novel Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi, which uses a fictional story to explore the very real issues of race, immigration, science, faith and family. Read more about the selection of this title in the UW-Madison press release.
About the book
Gifty is a PhD candidate in neuroscience 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 church in which she was raised. It’s a moving portrait of a family of Ghanaian immigrants in a novel about faith, science, religion, love.