“A herald of literary wonders to come.” – Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, author of Dust

“The vibrant intensities of Onyango’s deftly crafted characters makes this collection of stories come alive.” – TJ Benson, author of The Madhouse

Troy Onyango’s For What Are Butterflies Without Their Wings is a collection of twelve short stories that have a quickening pulse and pages crackling with sharp observations and gentle revelations about love, loneliness, loss, longing, and the infinite intricacies of daily human life.

In the opening story, The Transfiguration a trans woman tries to find herself and a sense of belonging in the unkind streets of Nairobi. A sister relives two decades of sibling rivalry when the brother disappears in a lake in the titular story For What Are Butterflies Without Their Wings. Two friends grow apart as they grow older and realise their paths diverge in Goodbye, So Long.

In these beautiful stories that straddle the breadth of Kenya, Troy’s characters navigate the daily lived experiences that shape them, as they learn to cobble together an existence alongside a society with rules that do not quite fit.

“With accomplished perceptive prose and a voice that is all his own, Onyango transports the reader towards and beyond the unexplored frontiers and territories of the self. This debut collection of short stories is a crucial and long-awaited entry into the African literary tradition.” – Rémy Ngamije, author of The Eternal Audience of One


The 60 Notable Books of 2022 • Open Country Mag

Holiday Reading: The Best Books to Gift a Loved One This Christmas • The Republic

The 50+ Most Anticipated Books of 2022 • Open Country Mag

63 Anticipated African Books of 2022 • Brittle Paper

16 Book Releases That Are High On My 2022 TBR • Something Bookish

Books we cannot wait to Read in 2022 • Cmoni

Eight Forthcoming Titles to Hit Masobe’s Bookshelf this year • Watt Nigeria


Troy Onyango’s Debut Story Collection Set for 2022 • Open Country Mag

The Kenyan writer and editor Troy Onyango’s debut short story collection For What Are Butterflies without Their Wings has been acquired by the Nigerian press Masobe Books. It is scheduled for publication in 2022. Read more