Norwich-based novelist wins top award

A Norwich-based novelist has scooped a �10,000 prize for her first novel.

Anjali Joseph, who is currently completing a PhD in creative and critical writing at the University of East Anglia, was tonight (Thursday) awarded the Desmond Elliott Prize for her novel Saraswati Park which tells the story of a family in Bombay, India.

She picked up the award at a ceremony at Fortnum and Mason in central London.

BBC broadcaster and chairman of the judges Edward Stourton said: 'We were united in our admiration for Saraswati Park, which we found utterly absorbing and faultlessly written.

'The characters are beautifully rendered, and their lives, with their ambitions and regrets, stay with you long after you have closed the last page. Anjali Joseph's skills as a novelist are humbling.'

Ms Joseph worked as a teacher and accountant before becoming a journalist. She previously completed a masters in creative writing at the UEA in 2008 and recently taught on both the undergraduate and postgraduate creative writing programmes at the university.

Earlier this month, she won this year's main prize of �10,000 in the Betty Trask Awards for Saraswati Park.

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Her debut novel was also previously shortlisted for The Hindu Best Fiction Award, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize (South Asia and Europe Best First Book), and the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize.

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