Blog Archives

Short Story: It’s a Night Job by Joanita Male

I read a short story named It’s a Night Job by Joanita Male. This is a story of a girl in a prostitution industry in Uganda. This night job have been passed down among the women in the family. To me, the most heartbreaking moment was when the mother said “Look after your body, you never know when you’ll need it to make a living” to her daughter. This suggests that prostitution became an official occupation for living. Also, through out the story, how the speaker remains to keep neutral attitude towards prostitution makes story more emotional because it shows how common this night job is established as a career in the society. If you would like to read the entire story, here is the file:  The African Writer_waiting page

Short Story: “At the Trail of the Sand Dunes” by Billie Adwoa McTernan

This short story of a passionate tryst between two strangers may technically be a romance, but it is anything but romantic. Although the interactions of this one-time couple are at the center of the plot, it is the inward dialogues of the characters that the meat of the story can be found. The characters meet by happenstance and share a romantic and sexual experience that is outwardly casual, but inwardly causes them to pause and reflect upon their own situations in life. This nuanced romance becomes a story of freedom and constraint, self-doubt and loneliness. By juxtaposing these personal thoughts of failure, unhappiness and loneliness against their lively and passionate, yet impersonal evening together, McTernan points out the paradox of intimacy in an increasingly interconnected yet isolating world. McTernan’s writing jumps effortlessly between the perspectives of the two characters, creating a layered and nuanced plot that intrigues and, at the very end, shocks.


Short Story: “Legal Alien” by Rutangye Crystal Butungi

The short story “Legal Alien” by Rutangye Crystal Butungi focuses on the protagonist (whose name is not mentioned) trying to get her medical form filled out at a small town clinic. This scene of her waiting for the doctor as the receptionist tries to hold a conversation with her in their language is complemented by the memory of her first day of school in Uganda. The themes of identity, alienation (as alluded to in the title), and education are intertwined in this story. The first line of the story: “I can’t believe the receptionist is not going to take my consultation fee just because I’m from her tribe!” jumped out at me mostly because I wondered why someone would not want something that costs less. As I continued reading, I realized that she was a little upset at the notion of not paying the fee due to having a certain identifying factor because she herself was not sure if she belonged, and she has always had this identity crisis that others have been confused about (not knowing one’s native tongue). Education is also deemed important, not only in school, but also in adjusting to one’s environment and teaching others about assumptions. (page 25)