BORN ON A TUESDAY

Dantala lives in Bayan Layi and is a student in a Sufi quranic school, far away from home. By chance he starts to follow gang leader Banda, a nominal Muslim. Dantala is thrust into a world with fluid rules and casual violence. In the bloody aftermath of the Nigeria elections he runs away and ends up living in a Salafi mosque. With a simple and practical approach to life, as he teaches himself English, Dantala slowly embraces the Salafism preached by his new benefactor, Sheikh Jamal.

He falls in love with Sheikh’s daughter, Aisha, and tries to woo her without breaking the rules. All the while, Sheikh struggles to deal with growing jihadist extremism within his own ranks.

Narrated in Dantala’s raw yet inquisitive voice, this debut novel explores friendship, brotherhood, religious fundamentalism, and loss against the  backdrop of one of the most turbulent periods in contemporary Northern Nigeria.​ 

Born on a Tuesday has been translated into German (An Einem Dienstag Geboren) and French (Né Un Mardi)


WINNER, BETTY TRASK AWARD 2017

SHORTLIST, NIGERIA PRIZE FOR LITERATURE 2016

SHORTLIST, REPUBLIC OF CONSCIOUSNESS PRIZE 2017

SHORTLIST, HURSTON WRIGHT LEGACY AWARD FOR DEBUT FICTION 2017

LONGLIST, ETISALAT PRIZE FOR AFRICAN LITERATURE 2017


"...Born on a Tuesday brings home the reality of what is happening in northern Nigeria with a power the news reports of Boko Haram’s atrocities can’t adequately project. Elnathan John is a writer to watch.”— The New York Times.


FORTHCOMING BOOKS

ON AJAYI CROWTHER STREET

Graphic novel forthcoming from Cassava Republic Press. Illustrated by Alaba Onajin. More details to follow soon.