Following the recent release of Kgshak Akec's debut novel Hopeless Kingdom, Kgshak Akec has been featured in local Melbourne newspapers The Geelong Independent and Star Weekly.
Read an excerpt from Kgshak Akec's interview for The Geelong Independent:
Akec’s novel explores themes of trauma, racism, the feminine experience, and the search for acceptance in an adopted society, issues that are deeply rooted in Akec’s experiences as a migrant, a girl, and a woman.
“I was born in Sudan and I was three when the civil war broke out,” she said.
“We had to take a train to Egypt within a week, and we became asylum seekers, essentially. We lived there for three years, but I knew it wasn’t home. No one looked like me, and we were treated so differently because of it.
“When I was six we came to Australia, and though I knew that, again, nobody would look like we did, but my parents told me this would be our forever home.”
Read the full interview here.
Read an excerpt from Elsie Lange's review of Hopeless Kingdom in Star Weekly:
To read Hopeless Kingdom by Kgshak Akec is to wade through a multitude of tiny heartaches and world-changing explosions, of a family lost before they are found, of migration and trauma, of mothers and daughters.
From their lives high above the ground in a Cairo apartment, we learn Akita and her family have already travelled and settled from Sudan. Through the changing perspectives of the eight-year-old and her mother Teresai, a complex tapestry of their lives comes together.
Akita’s big brother Santo is boisterous, untameable, and she can’t help but want to be near the thrill of his danger. Jumping through windows at precarious height, or running off to the night markets of an ancient city, Santo is risk itself.
When their father, Santino, comes home with the news of a safe passage to Sydney, place, and its vast unknowns, is established as a driving force of this novel. Everything the family has ever known – from the colour of the ground to the heat of the day – is left behind.
Read the full review here.
Hopeless Kingdom is the winner of the 2021 Dorothy Hewett Award for an Unpublished Manuscript. Inspired by the author’s own experience of migration from Africa to Australia, this story signals a powerful new voice in Australian writing.
Buy Hopeless Kingdom by Kgshak Akec here.