“[…] Elnathan John has penned a coming of age novel worthy of Twain. At times tragic, at times humorous, Born on a Tuesday is the story of those who find the courage to transcend violence even when born to its confines.”— Elliot Ackerman, author of Green on Blue

 "Elnathan John delves into the minutiae, the small beginnings of larger realities confronting our world today. This is the Northern Nigerian narrative we have been waiting for. It will stand as a testimony to these times.” — Molara Wood, literary critic and author of Indigo

“This powerful and gut-wrenching book is an unflinching look at the brutality wrought on the life of innocents by those vying for even small amounts of power.”—Anmiryam Budner, Main Point Books, Bryn Mawr, PA

 “Mesmerizing . . . [Dantala’s] journey from a lost boy to a position of remarkable authority in his mosque in Sokoto, Nigeria is powerfully moving and rich in period-specific detail  . . . This compelling debut novel, set during the time of Boko Haram uprising, is at once frightening and horrific yet also authentic and compassionate. Masterful.”– Jenny Lyons, The Vermont Bookshop



JUNE 2-4

Bayreth LiteraturFestival (BIGSAS Festival of African and African Diasporic Literature 2016)

University of Bayreuth


JUNE 10, 2016

Panel discussion with Taiye Selasi and Amma Darko. Organised by the Deutsch-Afrika Foundation


Prinzenstraße 85 F
10969 Berlin


June 23, 2016

University of Leiden, The Netherlands


July 5-8

University of Düsseldorf 

“With brave, unflinching candor expressed through spare,unadorned prose, Elnathan John considers the rise of Islamic extremism in Nigeria... Anyone seeking to peer beyond the media’s portrayals of Boko Haram must read this book, not because it offers a hopeful account but because it offers a human one.” —  Taiye Selasi, author of Ghana Must Go

​Dantala lives in Bayan Layi and studies in a Sufi 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 elections he runs away and ends up living in a 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 beguiling 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 brotherhood, religious fundamentalism, and loss against the  backdrop of one of the most turbulent periods in contemporary Northern Nigeria.​

Order Nigerian edition from Cassava Republic Press (out now) HERE 

Order North American edition from Grove Atlantic (May 3 2016) HERE

Order UK edition from Cassava Republic UK (April 1, 2016) HERE