The short stories in ‘A Fragile Hope’ are set in different locales, from Nairobi and small villages and slums in Kenya to London and Copenhagen, from the bustling humid cities Hong Kong and Bangkok to Shanghai. They are testimony to the author’s keen eye on his many travels around the world. They tell the poignant stories of love, betrayal, trials and tribulations, dreams and aspirations, corruption and greed, self-discovery and redemption. In ‘Black fishnet stockings’, a rich Nairobi couple get entangled in a liaison with their poor workers. In ‘The Warrior’s Last Job’, a hangman in a small Kenyan village battles the demons from his dark past as he seeks to maintain the façade of a venerable strongman. In ‘The Smell of Fresh Grass’, a Hong Kong girl who is lost in the confusing world of Copenhagen learns to reconcile with her estranged father following a chance encounter with a roving African musician. In ‘London Slaves’, a newly-minted Kenyan tycoon in the UK comes face to face with a form of discrimination that makes no sense to him. In the final story ‘And then the End’, an elderly Chinese driver is forced to confront the reality of his boss’s conviction for corruption. Many of these stories have previously been published in journals/magazines such as Ambit, Wasafiri, Kunapipi, New York Stories and Author-me. For the first time, readers can appreciate this kaleidoscopic picture of the breadth and depth of the human condition in a truly multi-cultural collection.
‘Ken Kamoche is a talented author as well as an ambitious one. His characters live and breathe with real passion. I've waited for this book a long time.’ —David Gerrold
‘Ken Kamoche displays an impressive mastery of the short story form. The stories, set in places as diverse as China and Africa and Britain, all show a consistency in their sympathetic grasp of human nature. The characters are so true, their dilemmas so so touching that one is drawn effortlessly into their world. Here is all that we require from a short story collection: depth, diversity, and brilliance of expression.’ —Helon Habila, Caine Prize and Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Winner
‘With its varied cast, diverse themes, and fitting title, A FRAGILE HOPE extends beyond the Eurocentric East-West pathway.’ —Wes Stevens
‘Ken has devised an intricate interplay between family, dreams, and a kaleidoscope of culture, and he truly makes it work... This is a powerful short story collection.’ —Bruce Cook
‘These intricate stories, vivid and detailed, are the offerings of a writer whose future literary career is anything but fragile.’ —Maureen Isaacson