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Born on a Tuesday
Winner of the 2017 Betty Trask Prize
A Finalist for the Nigeria Prize for Literature
Nominated for 2017 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award
Longlisted for the 2016 Etisalat Prize for Literature
From two-time Caine Prize finalist Elnathan John, a dynamic young voice from Nigeria, Born on a Tuesday is a stirring, starkly rendered first novel about a young boy struggling to find his place in a society that is fracturing along religious and political lines.
This novel explores life, love, friendship, loss and the effects of extremist politics and religion on everyday life in Northern Nigeria.
Dantala lives in Bayan Layi, Nigeria and studies in a Sufi Quranic school. By chance he meets gang leader Banda, a nominal Muslim. Dantala is thrust into a world with fluid rules and casual violence. In the aftermath of presidential elections he runs away and ends up living in a Salafi mosque. Slowly and through the hurdles of adolescence, he embraces Salafism as preached by his new benefactor, Sheikh Jamal. Dantala falls in love with Sheikh’s daughter, Aisha, and tries to court her within the acceptable limits of a conservative setting. All the while, Sheikh struggles to deal with growing jihadist extremism within his own ranks.
Narrated in Dantata’s raw yet inquisitive voice, this astonishing debut novel explores brotherhood, religious fundamentalism and loss, and the effects of extremist politics on everyday life in contemporary Northern Nigeria.
Elnathan John is a Nigerian novelist and writer, and one of Nigeria’s most well-known satirists. He has twice been shortlisted for the prestigious Caine Prize for African Writing (2013 & 2015).
His writing has been published in Per Contra, Evergreen Review and Chimurenga’s The Chronic. He is a 2015 Civitella Ranieri Fellow and lives in Abuja, Nigeria.