Indian-born Australian author, Roanna Gonsalves, has won the
Multicultural NSW Award in Australia for her first collection of short stories, Sunita De Souza Goes to Sydney and Other Stories, published by Speaking Tiger in April 2018. The book was published in Australia as The Permanent Resident.
Multicultural NSW is a government agency responsible for promoting and monitoring multiculturalism in New South Wales. The prize is worth 20,000-Australian-dollar (Rs 10 lakh) and it is given to books about the cultural diversity in the country.
Roanna Gonsalves came to Australia as an international student from India. Some years on she became a citizen and a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Endeavour Award. This is her first book.
The jury described Gonsalves’ book as ‘a brilliant, entertaining and moving exploration of migrant life that, despite focusing on one migrant community, manages to tell universal truths...(it) tackles racism, marriage, family, friendship, work and more through largely unexplored characters and stories.’
Since its publication, Sunita De Souza Goes to Sydney has quickly found a place on a number of lists of must-read books, and has been praised by critics for its playfulness with language, its boldness and its fresh voice.