FIRE IN MY BACKYARD
By Aliyu Kamal
Umar-Faruq Adam, BSc. Ecology, sets out to protect the arboreal treasures of Kano, northern Nigeria, but has to contend with powerful interest groups bent on trashing the entire ecosystem through wildcat logging. In an expository style, Aliyu Kamal tells the story of a young man dedicated not only to the new global cause of environmentalism, but also to the supreme determination to keep the distraction of the feminine at bay and concentrate his attention on the execution of his laudatory project.
Kamal's personal stamp in Fire in My Backyard is evident in his narrative style, topicality of theme and a general reorientation he brings to the novel genre in Africa … A double-layered theme, environmentalism on the surface and self-exploration embedded and a fresh use of language which features apt deployment of features of Hausa language and culture in English rendition, tend to give the novel … a new millennium flavor among contemporary African novels. The novelist simply wrote … in the tradition of Henry James … the undisputed African equivalent of the Western stream-of-consciousness novel.