In his debut novel, John slays.
A tragic and beautiful novel, Born on a Tuesday narrates, in first person, the story of Dantala, an Almajirai sent by his poor parents to a Quranic school in Bayan Layi – a fictional town in northern Nigeria. Post-election violence drives Dantala back to Sokoto, the land of his birth, where he comes under the tutelage of the kind-hearted Sheikh Jamal.
There were parts in the book where I laughed out loud at the sheer humour of it; and other parts where the words on the pages left me silent. John does well in capturing the fate of the desolate and of the Almajirai; he does well in offering hope even within absolute desolation. John’s writing is simple and poignant. I cannot wait for his next novel.