In the inaugural year of our exchange programme with Varuna, the National Writers House of Australia, we are pleased to welcome Roanna Gonsalves to Cove Park. Roanna is the author of The Permanent Resident (University of Western Australia Publishing) which won the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Multicultural Prize 2018, and was longlisted for the Dobbie Literary Award. It is published in India as Sunita De Souza Goes To Sydney (Speaking Tiger Books) and is on several lists of must-read books, and on the syllabi of university courses. Her work has been compared to the work of Alice Munro and Jhumpa Lahiri. Roanna’s four-part radio series, On the tip of a billion tongues ( Earshot, ABC RN) is an exploration of contemporary India through its multilingual literature. Roanna is a recipient of the Australian 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, Sydney. See more at

Varuna, the National Writers House, is located in Katoomba, which is part of the world heritage Blue Mountains region of New South Wales. Built by the Australian writer Eleanor Dark and her husband Dr Eric Dark in the late 1930s, the house is now recognized as a site of cultural significance listed on the NSW heritage register. In 1989 Michael Dark, the son of Eleanor and Dr Eric Dark, gave the house to the Eleanor Dark Foundation so it could be used as a retreat for writers.

This exchange programme is generously supported by The Bridge Awards and will run initially for three years. While Roanna is staying at Cove Park, Scottish novelist, short story writer and Cove Park alumni Vicky MacKenzie will be spending four weeks at Varuna in Australia.