Elnathan John is a Nigerian novelist, satirist and lawyer currently based in Berlin, Germany. His fiction was shortlisted twice for the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2013 and 2015. He was the recipient of the Civitella Ranieri fellowship in 2015.
His novel, Born on a Tuesday, a coming of age novel about Islam, politics and culture in a turbulent time in northern Nigeria published by Cassava Republic Press and Grove Atlantic, has been shortlisted for the Nigeria Prize for Literature, won a Betty Trask award (2017), was shortlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize and made the 2017 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction shortlist. It has also been translated into German (An Einem Dienstag Geboren) and French (Né Un Mardi). His non fiction covers subjects like pastoralism, gender non-conformism in northern Nigeria and Nigerian politics. His writing has been translated into Italian, French and German.
His collection of satire, Be(com)ing Nigerian: A guide was published in February 2019. He has a graphic novel, On Ajayi Crowther Street, forthcoming from Cassava Republic Press in November 2019.
Elnathan writes a weekly satire column for Daily Trust newspapers and is one of Nigeria’s most well known contemporary satirists. His writing has appeared in publications like The Economist, Financial Times, Per Contra, Le Monde Diplomatique, The Africa Report and The Guardian. A recipient of the Miles Morland Scholarship for 2018, he is finishing his historical novel set in the Sokoto caliphate in the 19th century.
He is one of the judges of the 2019 Man Booker International Prize.