November 2, 2009 / 5:33 PM / 8 years ago

Marie NDiaye wins France's top literary prize

PARIS (Reuters Life!) - Marie Ndiaye won France’s top literary award, the Prix Goncourt, on Monday, the first woman to do so since 1998.

The 42-year-old won for her novel “Trois Femmes Puissantes” (“Three Powerful Women”), a story about the interweaving lives of three women set in France and Senegal.

“This gives me great pleasure and I am also very happy to be a woman receiving the Goncourt Prize,” NDiaye told reporters.

The prize is worth a symbolic 10 euros ($14.80) in cash, but much more in publicity-generated sales.

As it is each year, the winner was announced to a crowd of journalists jammed into the foyer of the Drouant restaurant in central Paris after the jury had made its decision over lunch.

NDiaye was born in 1967 to a Senegalese father who left France when she was one year old and a French mother. The author spent her childhood living in a Parisian suburb where she began to write at the age of 12. She lives in Berlin with her three children.

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