Welcome to the Book Marks Questionnaire, where we ask authors questions about the books that have shaped them.
This week, we spoke to the author of Transcendent Kingdom (out now in paperback), Yaa Gyasi.
Book Marks: First book you remember loving?
Yaa Gyasi: The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister.
BM: Favorite re-read?
YG: My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout.
BM: A book that blew your mind?
YG: Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments by Saidiya Hartman is unlike I’ve ever read.
BM: What book from the past year would you like to give a shout-out to?
YG: I adore Kirsten Valdez-Quade’s short stories and her novel, The Five Wounds, is just as rich a reading experience.
BM: A book that actually made you laugh out loud?
YG: No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood. The rare book that made me both laugh and cry.
BM: Classic book you hate?
BM: Classic book on your To Be Read pile?
YG: The Waves.
BM: What’s a book with a really great sex scene?
YG: Cleanness by Garth Greenwell is astonishing and the sex scenes are a master class.
BM: Favorite book you were assigned in high school?
YG: Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison. A life-changing assignment.
BM: Book(s) you’re reading right now?
YG: Excited to start Reckless by Selena Montgomery.
Yaa Gyasi was born in Ghana and raised in Huntsville, Alabama. Her debut novel, Homegoing, won her the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Award for best first book, the PEN/Hemingway Award for a first book of fiction, the National Book Foundation’s “5 under 35” honors for 2016, and the American Book Award. She lives in Brooklyn.
Yea Gyasi’s Transcendent Kingdom is out now in paperback from