Indian writer wins Betty Trask award for debut novel

The Betty Trask Award is given to a first novel written by authors under the age of 35 who reside in a current or former Commonwealth nation. The award was established in 1984 by the Society of Authors at the behest of Betty Trask, a reclusive author of 30 romantic novels.

Joseph's novel narrates the story of Swarasati Park, a housing complex in a suburb somewhere deep in the heart of Mumbai and two of its empty-nesters, Mohan and Laxmi Karekar, whose lives are humdrum.

While Laxmi is a homemaker, Mohan is a letter-writer -- one of those quaint jobs which is non-existent today. From his seat under some tarpaulin near the main post-office, he sits and writes letters for those who are illiterate, anything from heartfelt letters to bureaucratic forms.

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