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The Permanent Resident

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  82 ratings  ·  25 reviews
A woman who can’t swim wades into a suburban pool. An Indian family sits down to an Australian Christmas dinner. A single mother’s offer to coach her son’s soccer team leads to an unexpected encounter. A recent migrant considers taking the fall for a second generation ‘friend’. A wife refuses to let her husband look at her phone. An international student gets off a train a ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published November 2016
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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Dillwynia Peter
Aug 27, 2020 rated it liked it
2.5 stars
I really wanted to give this book a higher score, but I couldn’t. The issues are simple – the stories almost exclusively have a repeated theme, and as such, reading this book without breaks becomes boring very quickly. It reminded me of my effort to read all Henry James stories within a few years. I had to eventually stop as apart from names, the narrative and themes were repeated too often. I am annoyed at Gonsalves’ supervisors and editors because this would have made an excellent nov
Nov 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A first book for Roanna Gonsalves, The Permanent Resident showcases a strong voice throughout her short stories and a talent for showcasing character flaws with grace and wit. I read these stories on the bus and in waiting rooms and fell in love with the beautiful style and cleverly cutting commentary: "He came from a long line of perfect pregnancies."
Don't ignore this book. If for no other reason than to hear a voice that has been overlooked for too long, pick it up and get lost in a schoolboy'
These short stories focus on the hopes, disappointments and challenges faced by a variety of Indian students or people seeking residency or citizenship in Australia. The best parts were the reflections of what the 200 years of colonisation had done to the original inhabitants and to the natural world as well as seeing that the grass is not always greener on the other side.
Michael Livingston
Jan 04, 2017 rated it liked it
This collection provide an interesting window into the catholic Indian community of Sydney. Gonsalves stories repeat similar themes - bad marriages, frustrated creativity and the struggles of finding a place in either the Indian or Anglo communities in Sydney. The stories start to blur together after a while, and the writing didn't knock my socks off, but this is still a promising debut.
Abeer Hoque
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-recommend
“The Permanent Resident” is Roanna Gonsalves’ elegant debut collection of short stories about the Goan diaspora in Australia, where Ms. Gonsalves herself resides. As an Bangladeshi American immigrant, the stories were both startlingly strange and familiar - about a South Asian immigrant community settling in a developed white majority country where the church and Catholic culture play a huge role in their social and emotional lives.

The Goan characters’ intersections with Australian society were
Derek Finnigan
Jan 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Living in regional New South Wales, I don't get to Sydney very often, but when I do, I'm always stunned by the rate of change in the landscape, physical, cultural and social. Sydney has become an incredibly interesting, vibrant city. It is also an unbelievably expensive place in which to live. From the affluent eastern and northern suburbs to the richly diverse, aspirational west, Sydney appears to the outsider to be blooming. However, due its richness and diversity, it's also generally impossib ...more
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the debut of an astute writer of ‘diasporas’ and their emotional lives. Not since Jhumpa Lahiri’s ‘Interpreter of Maladies’ have I read such a great compilation of writing about the hardships and intricacies of living that Indian migrants have to face and with the added pleasure of reading about the Goan Catholic diaspora in particular. Some of the stories seem a bit more open-ended than I’m used to, but they’re sandwiched appropriately between stories with a different more book-ended st ...more
Jan 24, 2017 rated it liked it
I love short stories. And I loved these. By combining her experiences of Goa, Bombay and of being an immigrant in Australia, Ms. Gonsalves has brought to life the expectations and disappointments of emigration. This book is at times playful, but always cuts to the emotional heart of different aspects of life in Australia.

Although there were times when I though she was trying too much, the authors language was a perfect balance of reality and erudition. The right words for the right moment. The
Lisa Dowdall
Nov 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An enthralling collection of stories that show the author's impressive range and style. Hilarious, devastating, restrained, insightful... This author is prodigiously talented. She has captured incredible moments in the lives of Indian women in Sydney, from the banks of the Cooks River or the sidelines of a football field to late night petrol stations and airport queues. Such a gorgeous and riveting book. Can't wait for the next book.
Cass Moriarty
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Roanna Gonsalves’ book of short stories, The Permanent Resident (UWA Publishing 2016) is an in-depth depiction of the lives of migrants, mainly Catholic Indians residing in Australia. While covering topics as diverse as cultural misunderstandings, domestic violence, school sport, racism and parental grief, Roanna uses each story to delve deep into the psyche of the characters that people her tales. Emotions such as grief, envy, love, betrayal, forgiveness, fear, sacrifice, guilt and ambition are ...more
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
It is a collection of 16 stories that weaves different tales reflecting on the hardship of those on student visas, paying exorbitant university fees, hating their culture but still very rooted in it, sharing the dinners on melamine plates and students working two jobs so they can send money home to their families who have funded and encouraged them, are commonplace.
I read this for my Seminar on Indian Diaspora and liked it a lot for its simple and yet endearing dedication to the dreamers and doe
Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing collection of stories for a number of reasons, apart from the author's creativity and poignancy of language. How this book stands out among the many published is the rare way it deals with the subject of migration with the most nuanced and insightful detail of existential realities. For me the book is filled with mirth, pain, joy and anthropological insights, all written with grace and great creative energy. It is a book for anyone looking for a great read; especially so, if y ...more
I love short stories and this book did not disappoint. The stories were predominantly about females who hade moved predominantly from Bombay to Australia who were waiting or had become a permanent resident. They all have uncomfortable lives and realistically only a few might have Disney-like happy endings. The stories are gritty and intimate. The ‘black’ paragraph got stuck in my mind ... not sure if it was a good thing or not, but I am noticing black bark.
Bhupen Thakker
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
we all search for sparkle...sometimes a long way from home...the Indian population in Australia has jumped for appx 100,000 in 2000 to appx 400,000 now. Driving taxis, washing dishes, coping with all kinds of prods to get us to the sparkle we seek. Do we get it? Or is it the same as we sought....And do you keep your Indian face intact in the process...the stories are hilarious, tragic, revelatory and why would anyone have plastic grass in their garden. Go find out....
Jaclyn Crupi
Nov 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Roanna Gonsalves's 16 short stories that form The Permanent Resident are a welcome addition to #auslit. We need more diverse voices and these stories of migrant experiences in Australia are timely and important. I wished that more of the stories were set outside Sydney and I would have liked a wider exploration of religious diversity but Gonsalves is an exciting new voice and I'm looking forward to what comes next.
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Roanna Gonsalves writes short stories with beautiful prose, about the Goan immigrant experience in urban Australia that questions power imbalances, whether between first vs second-generation immigrants, or between husband and wife. After reading these stories, I felt they were written with burnt edges and as a coming to terms with the hardships she herself must have endured as a divorced single mother of young children as a permanent resident in Australia. Written with candour, spice, and soul.
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An excellent collection of short stories which flowed together seamlessly. The characters are so real and well-developed; their perspectives are a delight to read from. Gonsalves' command of dialogue is especially enjoyable. Overall, a great and nuanced look into the depths of Indian-Australian culture.
Kal - Kulture Kween
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Can't remember the last time I fell in love with a book before The Permanent Resident. Roanna's writing is so delicious that I am torn between savoring slowly it or treating myself til the very last page. I would reread the book to pause and enjoy the sentences.
Salvin Kumar
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Roanna writes beautifully. Transforming the world around the reader with spot on choice of vocabulary and metaphors that make us live the experiences of the characters.
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
A collection of short stories themed around the experience of attaining and maintaining permanent residency in Australia; particularly from an Indian perspective. Well written, an enjoyable read.
Sep 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A gripping collection of short stories, one of my favourite fiction reads this year
Aug 06, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Epiphanie Bloom
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jul 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: bought-in-2017
The Permanent Resident is a collection of fictional short stories that primarily follows Goan Indian protagonists that have migrated to Australia.

I enjoyed this collection, and the different perspective it gave me on Australia.

(This book was required reading for my Writing Australia class).
Erin Tomlin
rated it liked it
Jan 19, 2019
Bronwyn Moon
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Feb 13, 2020
rated it really liked it
Jun 05, 2017
Kiri Falls
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May 01, 2017
rated it it was ok
Oct 09, 2018
Tanisha Mendes
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Apr 15, 2020
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