Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
Yaa Gyasi’s gorgeous second novel (after Homegoing) follows Gifty, the daughter of Ghanaian immigrants, as she works toward a Ph.D. in neuroscience. In flashbacks, Gifty reflects on her childhood in Alabama, the death of her beloved older brother, and her mother’s depression. Gyasi seamlessly weaves questions about faith, science, free will, and love into Gifty’s story. The end result is both heady and poignant: part coming-of-age story, and part family drama.
Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot
Terese Marie Mailhot’s memoir is spare and searing. She grapples with memories of her traumatic childhood, her experience as a young mother, and her relationships in vivid, unforgettable prose.
The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez
Two teenagers fall in love in this affecting story about immigrant families. Maribel Rivera and Mayor Toro live in an apartment building full of people who have immigrated from Central America. Cristina Henríquez uses Maribel and Mayor’s story to paint a complex picture of the challenges and joys of their lives.
Authors Mailhot and Henríquez will discuss their work with King County community members in online events this fall. Visit kcls.org/authorvoices to learn more.
About Emily Calkins
Emily Calkins is the readers’ services program coordinator for KCLS, where she specializes in connecting readers with stories, authors, and each other. She also is the co-host of KCLS’ podcast, The Desk Set. As a reader, she likes flawed characters, atmospheric world-building, and anything with a slow-burn romance.