An Interview with South Africa’s Caine Prize Winner Henrietta Rose-Innes

Credit: Christine Fourie

Brief Biography:

Henrietta Rose-Innes is a South African writer based in Cape Town. Her novel Nineveh (2011) was published by Random House Struik, following a short-story collection, Homing (2010), and two earlier novels: Shark’s Egg (2000) and The Rock Alphabet (2004).

GR: At what point in your life did you see yourself as a writer?

HR-I: From a young age, I wrote poems and stories; but it was only from my mid-twenties that I started to consider myself a writer. Before that I had thought I would be some kind of scientist. Doing the creative writing MA at the University of Cape Town – when that programme was in its very early days – was an important part of that shift.

The rest of the interview will be available in my forthcoming book (2016) by Lamar University Literary Press..


8 Responses to An Interview with South Africa’s Caine Prize Winner Henrietta Rose-Innes

  1. In-depth interview. I love every question you asked and the response was equally interesting.


  2. zibilee says:

    I loved this quote: “I think the prize has enormous future potential: to bring African writing to a broader audience, to change perceptions and, importantly, to attract more attention (and entries) within Africa and the diaspora.” I think she is so right! Great interview today. It was extremely interesting and thought provoking!


  3. I really enjoyed reading this exchange. And the phrase “sternly but kindly” edited is going to stick in my mind for a good while, I think.


  4. Nice interview, Geosi! I remember seeing Henrietta Rose-Innes in an event with the other shortlisted writers at the Caine Prize readings in London in 2008. Nice to see her name pop up again. I liked the talk about the importance of editing. Throwing away five words for every one kept! That’s quite a punishing ratio, but that one remaining one must be pretty good!


  5. Geosi, this is a fine interview, with salient questions asked and insightful answers given.


  6. […] three excellent literary blogs. On Africa is a Country with Brett Davidson, and with Geoff Gyasi of Geosi Reads, I talked about Nineveh, writing, the Caine Prize, etc. And, here on Books LIVE, I submitted to the […]


  7. great publish, very informative. I’m wondering why the other specialists of this sector don’t realize this.
    You must continue your writing. I’m sure, you have a huge readers’ base already!


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