BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC NEWS
 You are in: World: Africa
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

SERVICES 
Tuesday, 24 July, 2001, 11:46 GMT 12:46 UK
Nigerian wins book award
Helon Habila
Helon Habila: Impressed the judges
Thirty-three year old Helon Habila from Nigeria has won this year's Caine Prize for African writing, for his short story "Love Poems".

The story, set during military rule in Nigeria, is about a poet detained in jail, whose poetry is falsely claimed by the jailer as his own.

The chair of the judging panel, Professor Dan Jacobson, said: "His story impressed the judges, especially by its qualities of intensity and alertness to some of the most sinister aspects of Nigerian life under military rule."

The announcement was made during a dinner in Oxford on Monday evening.

Competition

The winning story faced strong competition from 120 writers from almost 30 African countries.

The other short-listed authors included Mia Couto from Mozambique and Nuruddin Farah from Somalia.

This is the second year the prize of $15,000 has been awarded.

It is open to writers from anywhere in Africa for a short story published in English.

The prize is named in celebration of the late Sir Michael Caine, former chairman of Booker plc, who have close links with Africa.

The aim is to bring African writing to the attention of a wider audience.

Mr Habila, who was born in Gombe state, is the arts editor of the Vanguard newspaper in Lagos.

See also:

15 Jun 01 | Arts
Ben Okri: A writer honoured
24 Apr 01 | Africa
Nurturing Ghana's writing talent
Links to more Africa stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories