Tobago-born poet, playwright, essayist and novelist M NourbeSe Philip was announced as the 2020 recipient of the PEN/Nabokov Award for International Literature on February 12.
Philip is well known for her books such as Harriet's Daughter, Zong! and She Tries Her Tongue, Her Silence Softly Breaks.
The 73-year-old writer moved to Canada in the 1970s to study law and political science.
With the motto: "Protecting free expression and celebrating literature," PEN America is a non-profit organisation based in New York that celebrates and defends free expression in the US through literature and human-rights work.
A press release from PEN America said: "M NourbeSe Philip's writing has, for four decades, merged vital formal experimentation and considerations of race, gender, colonialism and African diasporic identity."
PEN/Nabokov Award for International Literature is a US $50,000 US ($338,140) prize. She will receive the award on March 2 at the 2020 PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony hosted by Seth Meyers at the Town Hall Theatre, New York City.