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Yaa Gyasi’s latest novel, Transcendent Kingdom, takes on family and the gulfs of diaspora experience through an intimate narrative of a neuroscientist trying to come to grips with her brother’s drug overdose and her mother’s crippling depression. Gyasi joins us to reflect on the different ways in which faith and science attempt to answer the unfathomable and inchoate, and talks about the addiction narrative, so often seen through the lens of white, rural poverty. Gyasi also describes a friendship that led her to fascinating impasses in what remain fundamental mysteries in the neuroscience research on addiction.
Also, Kelli Jo Ford, author of Crooked Hallelujah, returns to recommend David Heska Wanbli Weiden’s highly acclaimed first novel, Winter Counts.