Elnathan John

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Elnathan John
Elnathan John.jpg
Picture of Elnathan John
Born1982 (age 39–40)
Alma materAhmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria
OccupationWriter (English, Hausa)
Notable work
Born on a Tuesday, Be(com)ing Nigerian
AwardsBetty Trask Award

Elnathan John (born 1982) is a Nigerian novelist, satirist and lawyer whose stories have twice been shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing.[1]


Elnathan John was born in Kaduna, in north-west Nigeria, in 1982.[2] He attended Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and the Nigerian Law School, where he obtained law degrees.[3]

His short story Bayan Layi, published in Per Contra, was shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2013.[4] He was shortlisted again for the Caine Prize in 2015 for his short story Flying.[5]

His writing has been published in The Economist, The Guardian, Per Contra, Hazlitt, ZAM Magazine, Evergreen Review, and Chimurenga's The Chronic.[6]

John's first novel, Born on a Tuesday[7][8] was published in 2016 by Cassava Republic Press in 2015 and in the US by Grove Atlantic.[9][2][10] Born on a Tuesday was shortlisted in September 2016 for the NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature, Africa's largest literary award[11] it won a Betty Trask Award.[12]

His second book, Be(com)ing Nigerian, A Guide, a collection of satirical pieces, was published by Cassava Republic Press in 2019.[13]

His third book, a graphic novel,[14] was published by Cassava Republic Press in November 2019.[15] The book is illustrated by Alaba Onajin.

Elnathan John is a Civitella Ranieri Fellow.[16] He writes a weekly satirical column for the Sunday Trust Newspaper[17] and speaks regularly on Nigerian literature, media and politics. He is one of the judges of the 2019 Man Booker International Prize.[18]

Awards and listings[edit]



  1. ^ "Previously Shortlisted". The Caine Prize for African Writing. Retrieved 2020-05-29.
  2. ^ a b Kellaway, Kate (3 April 2016). "Elnathan John: 'I want to show that things are never simple'". The Observer.
  3. ^ "#RA_top50 | Top 50 Social Media Personalities & Brands To Follow In Nigeria", Reports Afrique News, 25 August 2015.
  4. ^ "The Caine Prize for African Writing". Msafiri. September 1, 2013. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  5. ^ "Sixteenth Caine Prize for African writing shortlist announced". The Caine Prize. 5 May 2015. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  6. ^ "How to walk through a Berlin park". The Economist. 15 February 2018. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  7. ^ Unigwe, Chika (28 April 2016). "Born on a Tuesday by Elnathan John review – a compelling debut set in northern Nigeria". The Guardian.
  8. ^ Rocco, Fiammetta (1 July 2016). "Growing Up in Radicalized Nigeria: A New Novel Shows the Gritty Reality". New York Times Book Review.
  9. ^ Born on a Tuesday by Elnathan John. Grove Atlantic. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  10. ^ Times, Premium (November 8, 2015). "Elnathan John's debut novel out November 12". Premium Times. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  11. ^ "Nigeria LNG Ltd". Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  12. ^ "Hurston/Wright Foundation | Elnathan John". Retrieved 2020-05-29.
  13. ^ "Be(com)ing Nigerian".
  14. ^ "On Ajayi Crowther Street". The Guardian. March 21, 2020. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  15. ^ "On Ajayi Crowther Street".
  16. ^ "Fellows - Civitella Ranieri". www.civitella.org. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  17. ^ "Because I care". www.dailytrust.com.ng. Archived from the original on 13 July 2015. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  18. ^ "Man Booker International Prize 2019".
  19. ^ "The Caine prize for African writing shortlist – in pictures". The Guardian. 2013-07-05. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-05-29.
  20. ^ Ibekwe, Nicholas (2015-05-05). "2 Nigerians shortlisted for 2015 Caine Prize for African Writing - Premium Times Nigeria". Retrieved 2020-05-29.
  21. ^ "11 authors shortlisted for The Nigerian Prize For Literature 2016". The Guardian Nigeria News - Nigeria and World News. 2016-07-17. Retrieved 2020-05-29.
  22. ^ admin (2017-01-05). "Nine Authors Make Etisalat Prize for Literature 2016 Longlist". THISDAYLIVE. Retrieved 2020-05-29.
  23. ^ "Crowdfunded small-press prize announces inaugural shortlist". the Guardian. 2017-01-11. Retrieved 2020-05-29.
  24. ^ "Previous winners of the Betty Trask Prize and Awards". Society of Authors. July 21, 2018. Retrieved August 15, 2021.
  25. ^ "Morland Writing Scholarships 2017 Winners Announcement". The Miles Morland Foundation. 2017-12-05. Retrieved 2020-05-29.
  26. ^ "Kaduna born Elnathan John wins 2019 Prix Les Afriques". tribuneonlineng.com. 17 August 2019. Archived from the original on 2019-08-28. Retrieved 2021-02-05.

External links[edit]