Roanna Gonsalves is the author of The Permanent Resident (UWAP) published in India and South Asia as Sunita De Souza Goes To Sydney (Speaking Tiger Books). The book won the NSW Premier’s Literary Award Multicultural Prize 2018 and was longlisted for the Dobbie Literary Award 2018. Roanna was born and brought up in Mumbai, India, and attended St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. She came to Australia as an international student in 1998. She was recently awarded the inaugural Varuna – Cove Park residency in Scotland, funded by The Bridge Awards. She currently serves on the Board of Writing NSW.
According to the award-winning Australian writer Michelle De Kretser, The Permanent Resident is “a brilliant fashioning of newness in the Australian literary landscape”. Roanna has been called “a bold Australian voice” who “writes like a minx, full of mischief”, “like Jhumpa Lahiri but with a playful approach”. The Permanent Resident is on several lists of must-read books, is on the syllabi of courses and units at a number of Australian and international universities and is being studied in the fields of Australian Literature, Postcolonial Literatures, and Creative Writing.
Roanna’s series of radio documentaries, On the tip of a billion tongues, commissioned and broadcast by Earshot, ABC RN, is an acerbic socio-political portrayal of contemporary India through its multilingual writers. She is a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Endeavour Award, and is co-founder co-editor of Southern Crossings. She has a PhD from the University of New South Wales. She has been facilitating and teaching creative writing workshops for all ages within communities, for literary festivals, as well as at schools and in the university sector for many years. Her research interests are in the sociology of the arts, social media, creativity studies, and postcolonial literatures. She teaches in the fields of Creative Writing, Media Studies, and Literary Studies at Australian universities. She is currently a Lecturer in Creative Writing at New York University, Sydney.
She can be found at roannagonsalves.com.au, and on Twitter @roannagonsalves.
- PhD, UNSW
- Graduate Diploma in Arts by Research in Social Science, UNSW, Australia (High Distinction)
- M.A. in Professional Writing, UTS, Sydney, Australia
- Diploma in Television Production, North Sydney, Australia
- M.A. in English Literature, University of Bombay, India
- B.A. in English Literature, St. Xavier’s College, University Of Bombay, India
- The Permanent Resident, University of Western Australia Publishing, 2016. Published in India and South Asia as Sunita De Souza Goes To Sydney by Speaking Tiger Books, 2018
AWARDS & GRANTS
- Varuna – Cove Park Scotland Writer-in-Residence, funded by The Bridge Awards, 2019
- Bundanon Writer-in-Residence 2018-19
- UNSW Copyright Agency Writer-in-Residence 2018
- Winner, NSW Premier’s Literary Award Multicultural Prize 2018
- Longlist, Dobbie Literary Award for a first time published author 2018
- Australia Council for the Arts, Literature Board, Arts Grants for Individuals & Groups, May 2017
- Dean’s Award for Programs that Enhance Learning (team award led by Christopher Kremmer for UniPollWatch at UNSW) 2017
- School of the Arts & Media UNSW Research Grant 2016-17
- Australian Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Endeavour Postgraduate (Outgoing) Award 2013
- Dean’s Student Leadership Award, Community category, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of New South Wales, Australia 2012
- Scholarship to attend Minor Cosmopolitanisms, Summer School, University of Potsdam, Germany, July 2012
- Australian Writers Guild Award, Best Script, Community and Youth Theatre, 2011
- Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) to undertake a PhD at UNSW. 2011
- Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Faculty Top Up Award for top-ranked applicants, to undertake a PhD, 2011
- Varuna Writers Centre Fellowship 2011
- Longlisted for the Australian/Vogel Literary Awards 2009
- Vermont Studio Centre Artist’s Grant to attend 4 week writing residency at Vermont Studio Centre, USA (did not take up) 2010
- Australia Council for the Arts Literature Board New Work Emerging Writer Grant: October 2008
- Shortlisted for Varuna-Harper Collins Awards for Manuscript Development 2006
- Varuna Writers Centre mentorship with Charlotte Wood: 2003
- Varuna Writers Centre fellowship with Charlotte Wood: 2002
- ‘Language, literature, lifeblood’. Keynote Address, Between the Covers, Emerging Writers’ Festival + Macquarie University, at the State Library of NSW, 21 March, 2019
- ‘The stories we swallow’. Guest Speaker at Senator Mehreen Faruqi’s International Women’s Day Breakfast, 8 March, 2019. Read a summary of the speech in Observatory, published by NYU Sydney, Spring 2019, Issue 5, Pages 18-19 here.
- ‘Literary selfies’. Keynote, Society of Women Writers NSW, State Library of NSW, 13 February 2019. Read a version of the speech here.
- ‘Decoupling Artistic Excellence and Whiteness’. Speech at ‘Voice, Agency, and Integrity – Diversity and Inclusion in the Arts’, the launch of the Beyond Tick Boxes report by Diversity Arts Australia, Riverside Theatre, Parramatta, Friday, Oct 5, 2018. Read the edited version of the speech here.
- ‘Finding George Jarvis’. Historian Robin Walsh and author Roanna Gonsalves will explore different approaches to finding the elusive figure of George Jarvis, Governor Macquarie’s Indian manservant. Parramatta Lecture Series, Tales From The East, a public exhibition by the National Trust of Australia, exploring the historical and contemporary links between India and New South Wales. UNE Parramatta Campus Lecture Theatre, Level 1, 232 Church Street, Parramatta.Saturday, August 18, 2018. Read a reworked version of the speech here.
- ‘Literary selfies’. Keynote Address at the National Writers’ Conference, Emerging Writers’ Festival, Melbourne, 24 June, 2018. Read a version of the speech here.
- ‘On writing through cultures, canons, Rushdie-fication’. Keynote Address at the Asia Pacific Writers & Translators Conference, Bali, October 2017
- ‘The Permanent Resident in the Grandmotherland’, speech at the Inauguration of the Goa Arts and Literature Festival 2016, Panjim, Goa, India. Read an edited version of the speech on the Australian Women Writers’ Challenge website here.
- Keynote / Opening Address, Young Writers’ Showcase, Presbyterian Ladies College (PLC), Sydney, 22 August 2016
RECENT SHORT FICTION
- Gonsalves, R, 2019, ‘A breeze blows, or it doesn’t blow: History’s beckonings’, Southerly 78.2, March 2019 (cross-generic fiction and nonfiction)
- The thing about Myron: Joao Roque Literary Journal, Special Issue ‘Goa and its worlds: A literary journey’, Volume 2, No. 1, March 2018. Republished in The Brave New World of Goan Writing 2018, edited by Selma Carvalho, Bombaykala Books, December 2018
- ‘Curry Muncher 3.0’ in Sharrad, Paul. & Chatterjee Padmanabhan, M. (eds.), Of Indian Origin: Writings From Australia, Orient Blackswan, India, September 2018.
- George Jarvis, black hindoo servant, Port Jackson, 1809 (Preparatory Study): Westerly, 62.2 p150-154, December 2017
- The Skit, Mascara Literary Review, June 2014
- Friending and Trending, Only Connect, an anthology of short stories by writers from India and Australia, edited by Sharon Rundle and Meenakshi Bharat, Brass Monkey Books (2014)
- The Skit: Edited extract (audio), featured as part of Varuna Writer-A-Day App December 2011
- Curry Muncher , Eureka Street June 23, 2009
SELECTED NON-FICTION / FEATURES / OPINION PIECES
- Gonsalves, R, 2018, ‘Decoupling artistic excellence and whiteness’, Southern Crossings, Oct 10, 2018
- Gonsalves, R. 2018, ‘The crimson thread of male entitlement’, Eureka Street, 8 May 2018
- Gonsalves, R. 2017, ‘See me showing you me’, (Literature as selfie), Overland, 20 April https://overland.org.au/2017/04/see-me-showing-you-me/
- Gonsalves, R. 2017, ‘What I’m Reading’, Meanjin Blog, 5 April. https://meanjin.com.au/blog/what-im-reading-roanna-gonsalves/
- Gonsalves, R. 2017, ‘Why do we bother to write?’’, Southerly, 1 February, http://southerlyjournal.com.au/2017/02/01/why-do-we-bother-to-write/
- Gonsalves, R. 2017, ‘Tracing body-and-bloodlines’’, Southerly, 23 January, http://southerlyjournal.com.au/2017/01/23/tracing-body-and-bloodlines/
- Gonsalves, R. 2017, ‘The double lives of writers’, Southerly, 16 January. http://southerlyjournal.com.au/2017/01/16/the-double-lives-of-writers/
- Gonsalves, R. 2017, ‘Humour is vengeance’, Southerly, 6 January. http://southerlyjournal.com.au/2017/01/06/humor-is-vengeance/
- ‘Selfie is not a dirty word’, in The Conversation, 18 November, 2016
- ‘Who is an Asian?’, in Peril, 27 October, 2016
- We need to talk about caste: Roanna Gonsalves interviews S. Anand, in Cordite Poetry Review, Monday 1 August, 2016
- Goa: India’s literary lilac, published on the Earshot, Radio National, ABC website. Monday 21 December 2015
- Kolkata and beyond: in a country far, far away, published on the Earshot, Radio National, ABC website. Wednesday 9 December 2015
- Consumed by Delhi: India’s ravenous capital, published on the Earshot, Radio National, ABC website. Wednesday 9 December 2015
- Mumbai: city of writers, published on the Earshot, Radio National, ABC website. Friday 27 November 2015
- The Dancer’s Diamonds:A Review of Raghav Handa’s Tukre’ in Southern Crossings, May 2, 2015
- Are We Legit? in Southern Crossings, 21 April, 2015
- “Indian Prime Minister Modi in Australia: Turning Water Into Mines (Part Three)” in Peril, 26 Nov 2014
- “Indian Prime Minister Modi in Australia: Rockstar and Hindutva (Part Two)” in Peril, 24 Nov 2014
- “Indian Prime Minister Modi in Australia: Diaspora, Tweets, and a PM of Science? (Part One)” Peril, 17 Nov 2014
- Singing in your own voice: co-written with Claudia Taranto and published in the inaugural issue of White Paper, the tablet magazine brought out by the ABC (March 2014), an article about Indian writing and the DSC prize.
- Corpse bearer’s tale a hit at Jaipur Literature Festival, report on DSC prize-winning novel, published on front page of Books and Arts Daily (Radio National, ABC) Thursday, January 30, 2014 http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/booksandartsdaily/chronicle-of-a-corpse- bearer/5225840
- The Patron Saint of Excess Baggage: commissioned essay for Joyful Strains: Making Australia Home, an anthology of essays by expat writers in Australia, eds. Kent MacCarter & Ali Lemer, Affirm Press (2013) for Melbourne PEN
- O Other Where Art Thou: On otherness in Australia, The ABC’s The Drum/Unleashed, Mar 19, 2010
- Deconstructing the elephant: On diversity in Australian television, WIFT NSW (Women in Film and Television NSW) on October 12, 2009
- On the tip of a billion tongues: Goa. 27 mins. First broadcast Tuesday Dec 15, 2015, on Earshot, Radio National, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
- On the tip of a billion tongues: Kolkata. 27 mins. First broadcast Tuesday Dec 8, 2015, on Earshot, Radio National, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
- On the tip of a billion tongues: Delhi. 27 mins. First broadcast Tuesday Dec 1,2015 on Earshot, Radio National, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
- On the tip of a billion tongues: Mumbai. 27 mins. First broadcast Tuesday Nov 24, on Earshot, Radio National, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
- Cyrus Mistry wins DSC Prize: Report broadcast on Books and Arts Daily, Radio National, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Thursday Jan 30, 2014 http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/booksandartsdaily/cyrus-mistry-winnner-of-dsc- prize-for-sth-asian-literature/5225274
- The Rough Guide to the Arts End of the World: a radio interview about the arts in Australia on Creative Instinct, Radio National, produced by Anna Messariti, May 2012
- Doosra: The life and times of an Indian student in Australia. A 50 minute illustrated essay/radio documentary for ABC Radio National’s 360 program First broadcast 20 March 2010, and then on 24 March 2010, 22 January 2011, and Australia Day 2011 (26 January 2011)
- What shall I wear to work today?, Joao Roque Literary Journal, August 2018
- The Queen’s English: A public reading of the first draft of this new work was produced by Nautanki Theatre as part of the Dramasutra Project at Riverside, Parramatta, April 27, 2018
- Merchants: A showing of some preliminary scenes, development commissioned by Mind’s Eye, Bell Shakespeare Company, Australia, November 2011
- Yet to Ascertain The Nature Of The Crime, Melbourne Workers Theatre (November 2010, with Damien Millar, Raimondo Cortese and the company) ***WINNER AUSTRALIAN WRITERS GUILD AWARD 2011***
- Altered States: co-writer, a multimedia performance show, a collaboration between PACT Theatre, Sydney and Backbone Theatre, Brisbane, performed -Brisbane, 2003
- Replicant Hotel: I co-wrote this multimedia performance show performed at PACT Theatre, Sydney, August 2000
SELECTED SCREEN WORK
- Co-scriptwriter, A Bride of Aravan, directed by Leslie Branagan, 2019
- Script consultant on the documentary Sunshine and Shade, about Indian students in Australia, 2010-2012
- Director, co-writer of Don’t Be Mean, an educational video (drama) for the Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW, 2001
- Various corporate videos as writer, director, assistant director, Dream Studio, Mumbai, India
PEER-REVIEWED SCHOLARLY JOURNAL ARTICLES
- Margaret Daymond, Roanna Gonsalves, Weishin Gui, Michael Griffiths, Madhu Krishnan, Christine Lorre-Johnston, Dougal Mcneill, Ira Raja, Giselle Rampaul, Paul Sharrad, Geraldine Skeete, Lynda Gichanda Spencer, Tina Steiner, Mark Williams; 2017, ‘XVIII New Literatures’. The Year’s Work In English Studies, Oxford Journals, Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/ywes/max022
- Gonsalves, R 2015, ‘The Survival of the Friendliest: Contemporary Indian Publishing in English at the Frankfurt Book Fair’. Cultural Sociology 9(3), 425-446. Online 2015 doi: 10.1177/1749975515590244
- Chan, J, Bruce, J, Gonsalves, R 2014/2015 ‘Seeking and Finding: Creative Processes of 21st Century Painters’, Poetics, 48:21-41. Online 2015 DOI:10.1016/j.poetic.2014.11. 001
- Gonsalves, R 2011, ‘Multiculturalism and Mainstage Australian Theatre’. Journal of the European Association of Studies on Australia, Vol.2. No.2.
- Gonsalves, R and Chan, J 2008, ‘Creating Fiction: Bourdieu’s theory, and Writing Practice’. TEXT, Vol 12. No. 1.
PEER-REVIEWED SCHOLARLY BOOK CHAPTERS
- Gonsalves, R 2019, ‘Publishing and Nationhood: Negotiating the field of Indian writing in English’. In Dallas John Baker, Donna Lee Brien, Jen Webb (eds) Publishing and Culture, Cambridge Scholars, 104-120
- Gonsalves, R 2016, ‘Trails of Breadcrumbs: On Being Indian and Australian’. In Pal. S (ed) Indo-Australian Relations: Retrospect and Prospects. Pinnacle Learning, 20-27
- Gonsalves, R and Chan, J 2013 ‘Authorship and collaborative creativity in new media art ‘ in K Thomas and J Chan (eds) Handbook of Research on Creativity, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA, USA 2011
- Chan, J, Gonsalves, R and Metcalfe, N 2011 ‘Bridging the Two Cultures: The fragility of interdisciplinary creative collaboration’ in G Fischer and F Vassen (eds) Collective Creativity. Collaborative Work in the Sciences, Literature and the Arts. Rodopi Publishers, Amsterdam and New York.
SEMINARS AND INVITED PRESENTATIONS
- Gonsalves, R 2015, ‘A Prime Minister, his selfies, and the narration of India in Australia: Narrating India Symposium, Globalisation and Governance Network, UNSW, October 30.
- Gonsalves, R 2015, ‘The Survival of the Friendliest: Illuminating the process of learning to become a writer in contemporary India’. Seminar at the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research, University of Canberra, 13 April.
- Gonsalves, R 2015, ‘Learning to become a writer in contemporary India’. Seminar at School of the Arts and Media, UNSW. 31 March.
- Gonsalves, R 2015, ‘Notes on becoming a writer in contemporary India (a historical focus), Moving Ideas: Methodological Challenges of Chasing Post-National Histories A Symposium with Professor Benjamin Zachariah, University of Heidelberg, Germany, School of Humanities and Languages, UNSW, 13 February.
- Gonsalves, R 2014, ‘Creating the Creators: Stories about writers in contemporary India’. Seminar, School of the Arts and Media, UNSW, June 3.
- Gonsalves, R 2012, ‘Borders and Shading and other minor matters’. Invited presentation at the Australia India Literatures International Forum (AILIF, UWS) at the State Library of New South Wales, September 3-6.
- Gonsalves, R 2011, ‘The Work of Art in the Age of the Education Industry: Invited presentation at the Centre for Asia Pacific Social Transformation Studies, Public Seminar Series on India, University of Wollongong, October.
- Gonsalves, R 2010, ‘Curry Munchers, Cricket and Crime: Invited presentation at UTS IOSARN Talking India Series, Sydney, November 11.
- Gonsalves, R 2016, ‘The politics of friendliness in the literary field’. Paper presented at the Sociologies of Writing panel at the Australian Association of Writing Programs Conference, University of Canberra, November 2016.
- Gonsalves, R 2016, ‘Selfie of a Country: A Reading of Michelle De Kretser’s Questions of Travel’. Paper presented at the Association for the Study of Australian Literature conference, UNSW Canberra, July.
- Gonsalves, R 2015, ‘Writers vs. Money : Learning to become a writer in contemporary India’. Paper presented at the Australian Association of Writing Programs Conference, Swinburne University, November 2015.
- Gonsalves, R 2015, ‘The Survival of the Friendliest: Learning to become a writer in contemporary India’. Paper presented at the Literary Networks Convention, University of Wollongong, 7 July, 2015.
- Gonsalves, R 2014, ‘A “Literary” Literary Review’. Paper presented at The Idea of a Literary Review Symposium, Centre for Modernism Studies in Australia, UNSW, Australia, 2 October.
- Gonsalves, R 2014, ‘A Trail of Breadcrumbs: Tales of the Indian Australian Spatial Imaginary’. Conference paper presented at the conference of the Indian Association for the Study of Australia, Thiruvananthapuram, India, 23-25 January.
- Gonsalves, R 2013, ‘What is the Capital of Frankfurt? Indian Publishing at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2012’. Conference paper at the Journey of the Book Conference, University of Pune, India, Sep 23-25.
- Gonsalves, R 2013, ‘What is the Capital of Frankfurt? Indian Publishing at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2012’, Conference paper at the European Sociological Association conference, Torino, Aug 28-31.
- Gonsalves, R 2012, ‘All’s Fair at the Frankfurt Book Fair: An ethnography of a literary space’. Conference paper presented at the Cultural Studies Association of Australia conference, University of Sydney, December 4-6.
- Gonsalves, R 2012, ‘Creating the Creators’. Conference presentation about the literary world at the Scenes of Reading Conference, University of Sydney, May 25-26.
- Gonsalves, R 2008, ‘The Writer as Igneous or Sedimentary Rock: An exploration of the varied creative processes of novelists’. Conference paper at the Australian Association of Writing Programs Conference, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, November 27-29.
- Gonsalves, R 2007, ‘Creating Fiction: Bourdieu’s Theory and Writing Practice: Conference paper at the Australian Association of Writing Programs Conference, University of Canberra, Canberra, November
- Writing NSW
- Australian Society of Authors (ASA)
- Australasian Association of Writing Programs (AAWP)
- Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL)
- Asia Pacific Writers & Translators (APWT)
- Indian Association for the Study of Australia (IASA)
- National Tertiary Education Union
- Varuna, The Writers’ House Alumni Association
- South Asian Australian Writing Network
- Board of Directors, Writing NSW
- Co-founder, Co-editor: Southern Crossings: Reimagining Australia, South Asia, the world
- Founder and moderator: South Asian Australian Writing Network (SAAWN)
- Founder and Convenor: UNSWriting ‘Shut Up and Write‘
- Rewilding the PhD: Invited presentation for the UNSW Graduate Research School’s induction for new HDR students, Semester 2, 2014.
- Rewilding the PhD: Invited presentation for the UNSW Graduate Research School’s induction for new HDR students, Semester 1, 2014.
- Organising Committee member of Gondwanalandings, the first scholarly and creative symposium of the Indian diaspora in Australia, 2013
- Member of the Higher Degree Research Students Committee, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UNSW, Australia, 2012
- Served on the Organising Committee of Making Tracks, the annual postgraduate symposium of the School of the Arts and Media, FASS, UNSW, 2012
- Member of the advisory group for Diversity in Australian Theater Alliance, 2010
- Member of the Family Advisory Council, Children’s Hospital at Westmead, NSW, Australia, 2010