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Henrietta Rose-Innes Wins the £10 000 Caine Prize

Henrietta Rose-Innes

Diane Awerbuck and Henrietta Rose-Innes Shaun Johnson and Henrietta Rose-Innes Henrietta Rose-Innes and Tania van Schalkwyk

Alert! Henrietta Rose-Innes has won the 2008 £10 000 Caine Prize for African Writing, for the same short story, “Poison”, that bagged her the 2007 SA Pen Award (worth $5 000).

From all of us at BOOK SA central – and if I may speak on behalf of the wider network – congratulations, Henrietta!

“Poison” was published in African Pens: New writing from southern Africa 2007 after its initial win, and Henrietta was part of a Caine Prize writing workshop held in Cape Town recently. She’s currently in London for a series of Caine Prize readings – no doubt as the star of the show!

 

Recent comments:

  • <a href="http://richarddenooy.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Richard de Nooy</a>
    Richard de Nooy
    July 8th, 2008 @09:31 #
     
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    I really must read "The Rocket Alphabet"! (sic, BBC, very sic)

    Congratulations!

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  • <a href="http://louisgreenberg.com" rel="nofollow">Louis Greenberg</a>
    Louis Greenberg
    July 8th, 2008 @09:43 #
     
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    Well done, Henrietta!

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  • <a href="http://www.moxyland.com" rel="nofollow">Lauren Beukes</a>
    Lauren Beukes
    July 8th, 2008 @10:05 #
     
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    Genius girl! Congratulations. That's absolutely fantastic and totally well deserved. Can't book.co.za host the story online?

    In the meantime, anyone who needs a Henrietta fix can subscribe to her dark telecomms story, Callback (I always knew phones were evil) on Novel Idea, which kicked off today!

    SMS novel to 33879 and register on the WAP site and choose "Callback"

    Or visit: http://www.mobfest.co.za/novelidea/default.html for more info.

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  • <a href="http://www.modjajibooks.co.za" rel="nofollow">Colleen</a>
    Colleen
    July 8th, 2008 @10:08 #
     
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    Fantastic and mazeltov! Well done! Yay.

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  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    July 8th, 2008 @10:10 #
     
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    Comment from Robin Malan, via email:

    Huge congratulations to Henrietta Rose-Innes on winning the 2008 Caine Prize! She started her published writing career in English Alive from 1985 to 1989 when she was a student at Westerford High School, and when Michael King was Editor of English Alive. She was shortlisted for the Caine in both 2007 and 2008. She attended the Caine Prize fortnight-long workshop in Noordhoek in April, and, of course, the award announcement and celebratory dinner in the Bodleian Library in Oxford. Very well done, Henrietta!

    PS - You can also visit http://novelidea.book.co.za/ and http://novelidea.book.co.za/blog/ for more info on Henrietta's new story, "Callback", along with Lauren's link above.

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  • <a href="http://louisgreenberg.com" rel="nofollow">Louis Greenberg</a>
    Louis Greenberg
    July 8th, 2008 @10:22 #
     
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    I remember being in awe of Henrietta as early as the 80s... her school career roughly paralleled mine and I watched amazed how she dominated the English Alive index year after year (while none of the no-brainers from our less-than-creative school made it into print, much to the chagrin of our long-suffering English teacher.) Henrietta was the first South African celeb writer I was aware of.

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  • <a href="http://rustumkozain.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Rustum Kozain</a>
    Rustum Kozain
    July 8th, 2008 @11:52 #
     
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    Cor! Hearty congratulations Henrietta!

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  • <a href="http://sarahlotz.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sarah Lotz</a>
    Sarah Lotz
    July 8th, 2008 @12:13 #
     
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    Congrats! Amazing! (knew you'd do it!) Would also love to see the story up on this site.

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  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    July 9th, 2008 @12:09 #
     
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    Absolutely wonderful and well deserved. Henrietta was a couple of years ahead of me at school (at a different school), but we all got English Alive -- she was kind of a legend, everybody knew of Henrietta Rose-Innes, the English genius.

    Then the other day, I was at the Tokai medi-cross and when I mentioned to the nurse that I wrote books. She told me proudly that she went to school with Henrietta Rose Innes and always knew Henrietta would be a great success -- I'm sure now the nurse will be beaming too to see Henrietta all over the London news.

    See this http://books.guardian.co.uk/news/articles/0,,2289711,00.html">Guardian story, for instance.

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  • <a href="http://henriettaroseinnes.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Henrietta</a>
    Henrietta
    July 10th, 2008 @18:01 #
     
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    Hey everybody!!! Thanks so much for all the kind remarks and good wishes and bigbooksalove. Sorry I haven't responded until now, but things have been truly crazy here, a million emails from just about everyone I've ever known - all of which I will reply to personally just as soon as I catch my breath. It's all been amazing and I'm really touched by the support. A bit scared by all the media too. Looking forward to seeing everyone in CT when I get back next week... love to you all.

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  • <a href="http://rustumkozain.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Rustum Kozain</a>
    Rustum Kozain
    July 14th, 2008 @11:20 #
     
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    Woohoo! Are you throwing a party!? Champagne? Cheeses, swiss or no? Platters of crispy prawns! Little radishes carved into flowers? Taste, texture and colour, radishes are lovely.

    Also, what about little squares of rye with some herring on it? No Richard, there won't be a spit-braai.

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  • <a href="http://henriettaroseinnes.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Henrietta</a>
    Henrietta
    July 14th, 2008 @15:55 #
     
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    Rustum, wouldn't throwing a party seem a little, ehm, full of it? Not sure I'd go to someone else's I-won-I-won party. But then, perhaps the done thing is to spread the winnings around a little ... I will consider. But, to answer your pressing questions, if there was, hypothetically, a party:
    champagne: but of course
    cheese: soft ... perhaps with figs?
    crispy prawns: every time
    radishes: YES. but au naturel, not carved.
    herring: there's an idea. No rye though. Ugh.
    With slight individual tweaks, we seem to like similar things. Foodwise. Some kind of tension between self-indulgence (prawns)and self-denial(radish) going on here.

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  • <a href="http://henriettaroseinnes.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Henrietta</a>
    Henrietta
    July 14th, 2008 @15:58 #
     
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    I haven't eaten anything since my compressed scrambled-egg slab on SAA at 5am.

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  • <a href="http://rustumkozain.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Rustum Kozain</a>
    Rustum Kozain
    July 14th, 2008 @16:14 #
     
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    Oh, no, wasn't really enjoining you to really throw a party; just fantasizing (Louis, fantasising?) about food as per usual. Of which rye (but in a sourdough) plays a significant part. You know a radish with some butter and salt can hardly be called self-denial, especially if you have them inbetween bits of herring and prawn.

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  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    July 14th, 2008 @16:58 #
     
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    Speaking as an avid rye and avo eater, it seems unfair to exlude rye from the hypothetical party.

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  • <a href="http://henriettaroseinnes.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Henrietta</a>
    Henrietta
    July 14th, 2008 @17:42 #
     
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    Oh. Okay fine, then I won't throw a party. I was just getting excited. Nonetheless, seeing as it's my hypothetical party, I will exclude rye if I want to (rye if I want to...). And include giant sculpted ice swans.

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  • <a href="http://www.moxyland.com" rel="nofollow">Lauren Beukes</a>
    Lauren Beukes
    July 14th, 2008 @18:54 #
     
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    Sushi. And sculpted ice sushi. And those couches that look like sushi. C'mon, now. (and at the Book Lounge at Henry Trotter's launch, overheard desperate customer livid that both Shark's Egg - is that a kind of sushi - and Rock Alphabet had sold out!)

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  • <a href="http://henriettaroseinnes.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Henrietta</a>
    Henrietta
    July 14th, 2008 @20:26 #
     
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    gad, I'm sure there is a shark's egg sushi out there somewhere. ew.

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  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    July 14th, 2008 @22:06 #
     
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    Iced swans, Iced sharks, Iced dolphins leaping, salty radished carved into flowers, figs and champagne ... any excuse for radishes and ice carving is always welcome, but in this case there is actually a jolly good reason to indulge.

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  • <a href="http://richarddenooy.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Richard de Nooy</a>
    Richard de Nooy
    July 14th, 2008 @23:12 #
     
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    Hypothetically, I shall, once again, be unable to attend your swaarei.

    Alex, would you rye too if it happened to you? (With apologies to the party pig - that's a Dutch expression - for recycling her joke.)

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  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    July 15th, 2008 @08:44 #
     
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    Nobody knows where my sourdough has gone ... but the bank is coming down on me, hard enough to send me scurrying back to Beijing. Ah yes, alas, by the time the swans are carved and the menu planned, I may be back in China teaching English and miss the radish flowers of the I-won-I-won festivities ... how sad, yes, I think I will rye.

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  • <a href="http://richarddenooy.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Richard de Nooy</a>
    Richard de Nooy
    July 15th, 2008 @10:57 #
     
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    That just makes me sad. Really. As does Sally's story. I'm also in the process of adjusting my lifestyle so that I can live the dream. Which is much like trading in your comfy mattress for a bed of nails in order to sleep better.

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  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    July 15th, 2008 @13:58 #
     
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    That dream is Kubla Khan, in particular, the lines:

    That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
    And all who heard should see them there,
    And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
    His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
    Weave a circle round him thrice,
    And close your eyes with holy dread,
    For he on honey-dew hath fed
    And drunk the milk of Paradise.

    now I have drunk too much of Paradise, I can't go back to an office job; I'd sooner die, or move to China:)

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  • <a href="http://henriettaroseinnes.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Henrietta</a>
    Henrietta
    July 15th, 2008 @14:48 #
     
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    Whoah ... lay off those poppies, Alex ...
    but seriously, sad to hear you're off again. Not for too long, I hope.

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  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    July 15th, 2008 @16:36 #
     
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    But I do … I’ve always avoided poppies because I have an addictive personality, but right at the beginning, somebody gave me a story book and then and there I was hooked … I don’t want to go back to China right now, I want to be here, we'll see … so, is this hypothetical party going to remain hypothetical?

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  • <a href="http://imago.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sophy</a>
    Sophy
    July 15th, 2008 @21:38 #
     
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    The party trend post-Moxyland would be those self-peeling prawns and in that 'vein', self-dipping sushi I would imagine...I did see some lucky bugger walk away with the last copy of The Rock Alphabet from the Trotter launch. Oooo...Alphabet Soup?

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