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Anjali Joseph wins yet another award

New Delhi: Mumbai-born author Anjali Joseph, whose debut novel "Swarasati Park" created a splash in the literary circles by winning the Betty Trask award, has won the Desmond Elliot Prize.

The novel is about a Mumbai housing complex and the lives of its inmates, says a statement from the award committee.

The writer is delighted that her first novel has earned two international awards.

The chair of the judges, broadcaster Edward Stourton, hailed the "extraordinary maturity" of Joseph`s debut, saying it was "hard to believe that it is a first novel".

"It`s extremely accomplished, very sophisticated and subtle. It has that feeling that the characters are completely independent of the author. They live with you after you`ve finished reading it, and that`s the mark of a real novelist," he said in the statement.

Stourton described Joseph`s attention to character, plot and mood as exhibiting "enormous diversity" and this made "Saraswati Park" seem "quite old-fashioned, but in a good way".

Established in 2007, the Desmond Elliott prize aims to reward the best first novels published in Britain across "all fiction genres", with judges charged to look for a "novel of depth and breadth with a compelling narrative".

Joseph joins a roster of winners including Ali Shaw, Nikita Lalwani and Edward Hogan.

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