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"The Permanent Resident" is the first collection of short stories by Indo-Australian writer Roanna Gonsalves. The collection of 16 stories is all about Indian Migrants to Australia and revolves around their hopes and despair and the permanent quest to acquire "permanent residence" in this country.
Roanna Gonsalves' maiden book, "The Permanent Resident" holds a mirror to the Indian migrant community of Australia.
Roanna is the recipient of the Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Endeavour Award. Her collection of stories is about the every day life Indian migrants particularly the neo migrants who you see at the petrol stations, restaurants and as door knocking sales people in Australia. The stories portray evocative incarnations of these people who consider themselves to be "outsiders," they speak of their unutterable grief, their frustrations, isolation, fears and anxieties and ultimate triumph.
Roanna herself came to Australia as an International student and struggled along the rocky road of waitressing and working at petrol stations but her passion for contributing to English literature in Australia remained unphased. I ask her if there is an autobiographical element in her stories, Roanna says with a smile in her voice, "It's all about my life and nothing about my life!" She adds with a chuckle, "I don't think my life has been as interesting as that of my characters!"
The stories also cleverly unveil the yawning chasm between the relationship of the old well settled Indian migrants and those who have arrived in the last decade. The pretensions and airs and graces that some well settled migrants give themselves and their intense efforts in getting Aussiefied are underscored in stories like "Full Face". The alarming incidents of Domestic Violence in the community find a sharp voice in "The Permanent Resident."
How hard has it been then to break into the circle of successful writers I ask Roanna, to which she responds, "It's extremely hard to do something creative, but then I'm not a migrant who wants a big house with a huge backyard, my focus is to contribute to the Culture by telling these stories."
Well said and well written Roanna, you inspire aspirants to take a leaf from your book.
In conversation with Nim Gholkar the author of "Diary of An Immigrant Bride."Nim tells Kumud Merani that as a new immigrant to Australia she faced many a challenge and so started her search for a book relating to the issue but she found none! Well, Nim then decided to write her own book which holds a universal appeal for migrants.
लेखिका निम घोलकर चर्चा कर रही हैं कुमुद मिरानी के साथ अपनी नव प्रकाशित पुस्तक 'डायरी ऑफ़ ऐन इम्मीग्रेंट ब्राइड" के बारे में। जब वे एक नए प्रवासी के तौर पर ऑस्ट्रेलिया आईं तो उन्हें बहुत सी चुनौतियों का सामना करना पड़ा, जैसे की अक्सर प्रवासियों के साथ होता ही है ! इस विषय पर कोई किताब खोजने निकलीं तो उनके हाथ कुछ न लगा। बस फिर क्या था उन्होंने ये किताब लिख डाली।