Sara Savage reviews 'The Permanent Resident' by Roanna Gonsalves

There is a moment in ‘The Skit’ – the second in a collection of sixteen short stories by Indian-Australian author Roanna Gonsalves – when the writer protagonist, upon reading her work to a group of her peers (‘the Bombay gang’, as she describes them, ‘still on student visas, still drinking out of second-hand glasses from Vinnies, and eating off melamine plates while waiting and waiting for their applications for permanent residency to be processed’), is met with the incorrect assumption that her writing is autobiographical. This early on in The Permanent Resident – Gonsalves’s début book, though by no means her first reflection on migrant identities in Australia – it feels like a surreptitious wink from the author, whose voice hums sotto voce beneath a chorus of characters seldom represented (at least not so intricately) in twenty-first century Australian literature.

Read the rest of this article by purchasing a subscription to ABR Online, or subscribe to the print edition to receive access to ABR Online free of charge.

If you are a single issue subscriber you will need to upgrade your subscription to view back issues.

If you are already subscribed, click here to log in.

Published in April 2017, no. 390

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to comments@australianbookreview.com.au. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.