Born on a Tuesday Summary & Study Guide

Elnathan John
This Study Guide consists of approximately 44 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Born on a Tuesday.
This section contains 534 words
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Born on a Tuesday Summary & Study Guide Description

Born on a Tuesday Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on Born on a Tuesday by Elnathan John.

The following version of this book was used to create this study guide: John, Elnathan. Born on a Tuesday. Black Cat, 2015.

The novel begins in Bayan Layi in 2003. Dantala, the novel’s narrator and protagonist, is friendly with a group of boys who hang out under a kuka tree. One of the boys, Banda, finds them work for the Small Party, which is hoping to win the upcoming election. When the Big Party reportedly cheats, the boys are sent to the Big Party headquarters, which they burn down. When the police arrive, Dantala flees to Sokoto. In Sokoto, Dantala meets two leaders of a local mosque, Sheikh Jamal and Malam Abdul-Nur. They allow him to stay on working for them, so long as he returns to Dogon Icce to give his mother the news. He does so.

In 2006, Dantala is still living in Sokoto and helping out at the mosque. One day, a boy named Gabriel—whose name is changed into Arabic as “Jibril”—arrives at the mosque. Dantala discovers that he is Malam Abdul-Nur’s younger brother. In 2009, three years later, Dantala and Jibril have struck up a friendship. Jibril teaches Dantala English, and Dantala teaches Jibril Arabic. Dantala loves words and keeps a list of all the new English words he learns. When Dantala’s mother passes away, he returns to Dogon Icce for the funeral. There, he encounters his brothers, who have all become radical Shiite Muslim fighters. He is distressed to hear news from Jibril that Sheikh’s car has been attacked and that he has been shot. Dantala returns to Sokoto.

Sheikh wakes from his coma. Dantala develops a crush on the Sheikh’s daughter, Aisha. Meanwhile, Malam Abdul-Nur blames the attack on Shiite Muslims and a group of the mosque’s followers proceed to burn down the nearest Shiite mosque. Dantala accompanies Sheikh to an important meeting. Later, he discovers that Jibril is sleeping with Malam Abdul-Nur’s wife.

Part Four begins with Jibril convincing Dantala to go see a prostitute. He goes, but he does not sleep with the woman. While the Sheikh pressures Dantala to consider marriage, Dantala continues obsessing about Aisha. Meanwhile, Malam Abdul-Nur returns from a trip to Saudi Arabia newly radicalized. He leaves Sheikh’s mosque to start his own movement, taking Jibril with him. Sheikh and Malam Abdul-Nur debate one another in a televised appearance in Saudi Arabia. At the same time, Alhaji Usman, the mosque’s financier, considers running for Senate. One day, a group of men dressed as policemen arrive at the mosque, drag Sheikh out, and cut his head off. The region devolves into chaos, as followers of the Sheikh form vigilante groups to hunt down the Mujahideen, led by Malam Abdul-Nur.

When the state attempts to regain control of the region, Dantala is arrested and thrown into prison. There, he is tortured and left for dead. After nine months, Dantala is released, his spirit broken, and returned to a street corner in Sokoto. He revisits his old room, where he sees a message from Jibril telling Dantala that he will come back for him. Dantala learns that Aisha and Alhaji Usman have gotten married.

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This section contains 534 words
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