Anticipation builds for Elnathan John’s debut novel

Anticipation builds for Elnathan John’s debut novel

Excitement and anticipation for Elnathan John’s debut novel, Born on a Tuesday, is building ahead of its formal release by Cassava Republic Press on 12th November 2015. The title has been trending on social media, following an informal pre-launch reading in Abuja organised by the author, using the hastag #elnathansBOAT, with members of the Nigerian twitterati such as Omojuwa and Chioma Chuka in attendance.

Born on a Tuesday has already been gathering advance praise, with Taiye Selasi, the celebrated author of best-seller Ghana Must Go noting that, “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.”

Uzodinma Iweala, whose book Beasts of No Nation has just been released as a major Hollywood movie, commented: “Elnathan John’s first novel is an ambitious book that tackles modern Nigeria’s extremely complex religious landscape with great insight, passion and humour by taking us deep into the mental and emotional space of the country’s most neglected.”

Publisher Bibi Bakare-Yusuf explains: Born on a Tuesday is the beguiling story of a young almajari boy, Dantala, who runs away from home and takes up residence in a mosque. Dantala slowly embraces the Salafism preached by his new benefactor, and become increasingly involved in the extremist politics of the northwest. It is a stunning read, told from the deceptively simple perspective of the young boy. We’re incredibly excited to be publishing this unique and refreshing tale, which provides a fascinating perspective on life in the northwest of Nigeria, giving voice to an often disregarded aspect of Nigerian society. I hope this will open up writing from the North to other Nigerians and to the world.”

Elnathan John novel

Abuja-based author Elnathan John stated that:  “My hope in writing this novel has always been that it that it will add colour to the monochrome that northern Nigeria seems to be in the media, to start a conversation and open a door to spaces, some dark, some uncomfortable. And it means a lot to me that this book will first be available in Nigeria.”

Elnathan will be discussing his book on two public panels at the Lagos Book and Art Festival on Saturday 14th November: “What’s Eating the North: politics, culture and relationships in writing from Northern Nigeria” at 1pm at the Goethe-Institut, moderated by Kadaria Ahmed; and “Writing a New Nigeria: Representations of Nigeria in contemporary fiction and poetry at 4pm at Freedom Park.” There will also be a launch party hosted at the Bogobiri Lounge in Ikoyi on Friday 13th November. To obtain tickets for the launch party, click here.

Click here to to pre-order copies of the book.


Born on a Tuesday (N2000) will be available from and at retail stores throughout Nigeria from 12th November 2015. International editions will follow in 2016, from Cassava Republic (UK) in April; Grove Atlantic Press (USA) in May, and a French translation from Galaade Éditions (Paris) in August 2016.


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