Marie NDiaye has become the first black woman to win France's leading literary prize, the Goncourt.
The 42-year-old was honoured for her novel Trois Femmes Puissantes (Three Powerful Women), a saga set in both Africa and Europe.
Frenchwoman NDiaye, whose father is Senegalese and mother French, said: "This prize is an unexpected reward for 25 years of persistence."
She becomes the first woman in a decade to be awarded the Goncourt.
Nominal prize fund
"I am very happy to be a woman receiving the Goncourt," said NDiaye at the awards ceremony, which by tradition took place in a Parisian restaurant.
"The book's success was already a miracle of sorts," she added, referring to her novel attaining best seller status in France when it was published earlier this year.
NDiaye, who published her first novel at the age of 17, has also gained a reputation as a screenwriter and playwright.
She moved to Berlin in 2007 after President Nicholas Sarkozy won the election, saying she finds France under his rule "monstrous" and "vulgar".
The Goncourt Prize, which was first handed out in 1903, awards the best new novel in French literature.
So says BBC. And here is the scandal. Because NDiaye accused France under Sarkozy as monstrous, now Eric Raoult, a politician of right wing affliated with Union for a Popular Movement, started a polemique claiming Ndiaye doesn't have the right to receive Prix Concourt and asking Ministry of Culture to take the prize back.
For French readers check the latest interview with Marie NDiaye at lesinrocks.com