Indian-origin author Roanna Gonsalves on Monday won a literary prize awarded by the Australian government, for her collection of short stories, The Permanent Resident. The 2016 book got the Multicultural NSW Award from the State Library of New South Wales.
Multicultural NSW is a government agency responsible for promoting and monitoring multiculturalism in New South Wales.
The award was one of the several “NSW Premier’s Literary Awards” announced on Monday. Carrying an 20,000-Australian-dollar (Rs 10 lakh) prize, it is given to books about the cultural diversity in the country.
The Permanent Resident is a collection of 16 stories describing the experiences of Indian migrants in Australia. Gonsalves herself moved to Australia in 1998 as a student after graduating from St Xavier’s College in Mumbai.
The jury said Gonsalves’ first book was “a brilliant, entertaining and moving exploration of migrant life that, despite focusing on one migrant community, manages to tell universal truths”. The book “tackles racism, marriage, family, friendship, work and more” through “largely unexplored” characters and stories, the jury said.
“I am absolutely thrilled and honoured to have won the multicultural award,” Gonsalves told the broadcaster SBS. “It was a very strong shortlist and I feel I got lucky. I was over the moon when I heard my name.”