Elnathan John launches debut novel in Lagos #Labaf2015

Elnathan John
Elnathan John

Elnathan John is famous for many reasons. His work has been short listed for the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2013 and again in 2015. His work has appeared in Hazlitt, Per Contra, the Evergreen Review, the Financial Times and the Caine Prize for African Writing anthology 2013 and 2014. He writes satire for a Nigerian newspaper and his blog.

This year Elnathan decided to add “novelist” to his resume as his Cassava Republic published his debut novel Born On A Tuesday.”  The book according to its official bio at Cassava Republic reads…

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. 

This novel explores life, love, friendship, loss and the effects of extremist politics and religion on everyday life in Northern Nigeria.”

Elnathan John with his publisher Bibi Bakare-Yusuf
Elnathan John with his publisher Bibi Bakare-Yusuf

The book made its worldwide debut at the Bobogiri House a boutique hotel in Lagos on 14th November 2015. The event at the Bobogiri happened alongside the writer’s appearances at the Lagos Arts and Book Fair at the Lagos National Theatre and the Goethe Insitut.

The writer went on the week after this to be given a healthy cheque at the Ake Festival in the next week from Marine Platforms alongside other writers from the Northern part of Nigeria.

So what’s the next step for our newly minted novel writer? We can’t tell you. We can tell you though that all the indicators are that we have a new literary star from the continent. Watch this space.

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