A former commissioning editor for Indian Elle, debut novelist Anjali Joseph, has won the Desmond Elliott Prize for her novel Saraswati Park (Fourth Estate).
Her novel, set in the suburbs of Mumbai, is about an Indian couple whose marital difficulties are interrupted when their 19-year-old nephew comes to stay. It clinched the £10,000 award for debut novelists at a ceremony last night.
BBC Radio 4's Edward Stourton, chair of judges, described it as "utterly absorbing and faultlessly written. The characters are beautifully realised, 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."
Joseph beat Boxer, Beetle by Ned Beauman (Sceptre) and Stephen Kelman's Pigeon English (Bloomsbury) to the prize. Saraswati Park is out now in paperback.
WLTB's Stacey Bartlett caught up with Anjali after the ceremony.