British-Sierra Leonean writer Aminatta Forna has won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for "The Memory of Love," a tale of war and its legacy set in West Africa.
Organizers praised the novel Saturday as an "immensely powerful portrayal of human resilience."
Forna was born in Scotland, grew up in Sierra Leone and lives in London.
She said the prize "means very many things to me, but mostly that Sierra Leone has one its first literary prizes. We have had a struggle in the past 10 or 15 years and I just hope I have made them proud."
The 10,000 pound ($16,000) prize is open to writers from Britain and the 53-nation Commonwealth.
New Zealand writer Craig Cliff won the Commonwealth Best First Book prize for his short story collection "A Man Melting."