Suneeta Peres da Costa was born in Australia to parents of Goan origin. She has published and produced widely across the genres of fiction, non-fiction, playwriting and poetry. Her novel Homework was published by Bloomsbury in 1999, and her long-awaited novella Saudade was released with Giramondo in March 2018, achieving a shortlisting for both the 2019 Prime Minister’s Award for Fiction and the 2020 Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature. Saudade was also a finalist in the 2020 Field Notes’ Tournament of Books. She is the recipient of numerous literary fellowships and awards, including a Fulbright Scholarship and the BR Whiting Studio Residency in Rome, and was awarded $21,000 by the Australia Council its the first grant round for 2018.
128 pages Paperback, 15 x 17 cm Published March 2018 ISBN 9781925336634
A coming-of-age story set in Angola in the period leading up to the colony’s independence, Saudade focuses on a Goan immigrant family caught between complicity in Portuguese rule, and their dependence on the Angolans who are their servants. The title speaks to the melancholy longing for homeland that haunts the characters, and especially the young girl who is the book’s protagonist and narrator.
Suneeta Peres da Costa’s novella captures with intense lyricism the difficult relationship between the girl and her mother, and the ways in which their intimate world is shaken by domestic violence, the legacies of slavery and the end of empire. Her intellectual awakening unfolds into a growing awareness of the lies of colonialism, and the violent political ruptures that ultimately lead to her father’s death, and their exile.