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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Marie Ndiaye's Trois Femmes Puissantes

Written By: Nicole Parker-Jones—For the first time in its history, France's top literary prize, the Prix Goncourt, was awarded to a black woman: French Senegalese author Marie Ndiaye. The Prix Goncourt was awarded to Ndiaye for her novel Trois Femmes Puissantes ("Three Powerful Women"), which is about three African women, each with one foot in France and the other in Africa (the novel is not currently available in English).

A prodigy, Ndiaye began writing at the age of 12 and published her first work when she was 17. Her 2001 work, Rosie Carpe, garnered her attention when she was awarded the prestigious Prix Femina literary prize. Despite touching on social themes (such as race and gender) in her oft-times surreal stories, Ndiaye has reportedly gone on the record to explain: "I don't represent anything or anyone. I have met many French people raised in Africa who are more African than I am."