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Book Salon
Born on a Tuesday: A Novel

  • This month we're reading Born on a Tuesday: A Novel by Elnathan John. Our faculty host is NoViolet Bulawayo.

    Listen to an interview with our Book Salon host.

    "Born on a Tuesday explores some of the most pressing issues facing contemporary Northern Nigeria - corruption, violence, upheaval, religious extremism, among others. But it's also an unflinching coming of age story that will leave you with eyes wide open, and that is such a gift."

    NoViolet Bulawayo, Jones Lecturer in fiction

About this quarter's book selection

Born on a Tuesday by Elnathan John, follows a young boy named Dantala in Nigeria. Dantala’s father sends him away to attend Qur’anic school and while at the school, he befriends a group of street boys. Dantala and his new friends are soon approached by a local political party to burn down a rival political party’s headquarters. Dantala and his friends readily agree to help.

Unfortunately for Dantala, this decision leads to disaster and he is forced to flee for his life. He settles in a mosque where he is provided with some comfort and shelter, and he soon becomes a favored apprentice to the mosque’s sheikh. He is then forced to make a terrible decision once the sheikh starts his own radical movement. Will Dantala choose the radical path his sheikh offers, or will he seek another way?

Trained as a lawyer and then turned satirist, Elnathan John’s Born on a Tuesday is his debut novel. Elnathan is a two-time Caine Prize finalist. He is a prominent speaker on Nigerian literature, media, and politics and lives in Abuja, Nigeria. 

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