Page last updated at 21:37 GMT, Monday, 7 July 2008 22:37 UK

South African wins top book prize

Henrietta Rose-Innes
Henrietta Rose-Innes studied under Nobel winner JM Coetzee

South African novelist Henrietta Rose-Innes has been named the winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing.

She won the award for her story Poison which was published in the anthology Africa Pens, and takes a 10,000 prize.

The other four writers on the shortlist were from Ghana, Malawi, and Nigeria and South Africa.

The prize, given for a short story, can be awarded to African writers who have published fiction within Africa or elsewhere in the world.

The prize is named after Sir Michael Caine, a former chairman of Booker plc.

Last year's Caine Prize was won by Ugandan writer Monica Arac de Nyeko for the Jambula Tree, a story about lesbianism.

Two novels

Henrietta Rose-Innes is relatively experienced compared with recent winners.

She has already had two novels published as well as editing an anthology of South African writing.

Her novels Shark's Egg and The Rocket Alphabet have been well received - she studied creative writing under the Nobel laureate JM Coetzee.

Winning the prize guarantees more interest from publishers and reviewers as well as including a month's scholarship at Georgetown University in Washington DC.

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