COMPUTER SHUTDOWN and Other Stories
By Aliyu Kamal
In his first collection of short stories, Aliyu Kamal focuses attention on young men and women graduates engaged either in teaching English or writing in it.
Abarshi Muhammad in the lead story, Computer Shutdown, refuses to simplify his “difficult” short story before it is published in a literary periodical. He chooses to present another instead. But is it as “simple” as the Editor wanted?
Ahmad Habib in The Minor of the Hospital Ward has to devise the means to avoid a fellow invalid so that the journalist can write his newspaper article. Nasir in The Debutante is shocked to discover that Jamila Shehu has published her first novel before he even begins to write his.
Bello Gano in The Altar of the Base loses his membership to the Writers Workshop for choosing to write in a high literary fashion and not in the plain style the patron of the workshop forces members to adopt.
In The Truant, Wada Ilu needs the extra money a businessman pays him to teach him English, but the man's spells of absence and the teacher's troubled conscience force Wada to abandon the private teaching job.
In Personal Fortune, Zakari Yusuf, a graduate of Civic Studies, prefers to teach English rather than accept the plum job of a wealthy contractor's Personal Assistant. A quandary develops when he is prevailed upon to take the latter job.
The feeling of expectation about the results of a BBC short story competition to which he sent the entry At the Double causes a young writer to suffer an attack of the writer's block.
Other than The Minor of the Hospital Ward, Aliyu Kamal (Ph.D.) has published seven novels. As well as an anthology of poetry.