Maryse Condé, the French novelist and critic whose works frequently dealt with colonialism and the lives of Afro Caribbean people, has died at 90, the Guardian reports.

Condé was born in Pointe-à-Pitre in the island group of Guadeloupe, a French overseas department, and educated at Lycée Fénelon Sainte-Marie and Université Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris. She taught in schools in Ghana, Senegal, and France before publishing her first novel, Hérémakhonon, in 1976, when she was almost 40.

She became a literary sensation in 1984 with her novel Segu, which explored the effects of colonialism and the slave trade. She followed that up with several other novels, including I, Tituba: Black Witch of Salem; Tree of Life; Crossing the Mangrove; and The Story of the Cannibal Woman.

In 2021, she published her final novel, The Gospel According to the New World. An English translation followed two years later, which was shortlisted for the International Booker Prize, making her the oldest author to be named a finalist for the award. She and her translator, Richard Philcox, also became the first wife-and-husband team to be shortlisted.

Condé’s admirers paid tribute to her on social media. On X, formerly known as Twitter, author John Domini wrote, “Flights of angels, #MaryseCondé, citizen of Guadeloupe, Paris, New York...& her own farseeing & unforgiving imagination.”

And writer Zach Issenberg posted, “May the memory [of] Maryse Condé be a blessing! Her every novel took my breath away with the sheer beauty of their prose and the humanism of their narratives. I am thankful for the tradition she built, which has provided a vocabulary of self-reflection to so many of my students.”

Michael Schaub is a contributing writer.