Writer, Brooklyn, New York
Mary Ellen von der Heyden Fellow in Fiction - Class of Fall 2018
Yaa Gyasi was born in Mampong, Ghana, and raised in Huntsville, Alabama. She received a BA in English from Stanford University and MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she held a Dean’s Graduate Research Fellowship. Her critically acclaimed debut novel, Homegoing (Knopf, 2016), probes the legacy of the slave trade as it impacted two sides of an Akan family. Homegoing received 2017’s American Book Award, the National Book Critics’ Circle’s John Leonard Award, and PEN’s Hemingway award for debut fiction. Gyasi’s short stories have appeared in African American Review, Guernica, Callaloo, and Granta, which designated her a Best Young American Novelist in 2017.