Monday, April 11, 2016

Elnathan John

Elnathan John is a Nigerian lawyer who quit his job in 2012 to write full-time. In 2013, he was short-listed for the Caine Prize for African Writing for his story “Bayan Layi” and was again named a finalist in 2015. His new book is Born on a Tuesday.

From John's Q & A with Kate Kellaway at the Guardian:

Was there a particular seed from which your first novel, about a young man who gets caught up in Islamic fundamentalism, grew?

Born on a Tuesday was informed partly by my upbringing but also inspired by the almajiri [the name for those sent from their homes as children to study in Islamic schools] I met at university. I was interested in their lives and their thoughts and intrigued that they were [often] people without names. What is in a name? The question became important to me. The minimum a person can have is a name. I was interested in what happens when that basic form of identity is taken away. “Born on a Tuesday” is the protagonist’s name, but not...[read on]
Visit Elnathan John's website.

--Marshal Zeringue