Writer Stefanie Zweig, 81, best known for her autobiographical novel

Nowhere in Africa

, has died.

German news agency dpa on Sunday cited her nephew Walter Zweig as saying the author died Friday after a short illness.

Ms. Zweig was born in Leobschuetz, now part of Poland. In 1938, her family fled the Nazi persecution of Jews and moved to Kenya, where she attended a British school. She returned to Germany in 1947 and worked as a journalist for many years before she began writing novels.

Of her more than two dozen books, Nowhere in Africa, first published in 1995, was the most successful, retelling the story of her family's time in Kenya. A movie adaptation won an Oscar for best foreign-language film in 2003. - AP