Saudade by Suneeta Peres da Costa

“Love is a fire that burns unseen, a wound that aches yet isn’t felt . . . a longing for nothing but to long, a lonlieness in the midst of people, a never feeling pleased when pleased, a passion that gains when lost in thought” _ Camoes

Saudade is a feeling of melancholy brought on by the sense of absence and a longing to return to what was lost and can never be regained.

This sense of yearning ripples throughout this novella as a young Goan emigre struggles to find her self and her place during the Angolan Civil War. A daughter of Portuguese sympathizers she comes to realize that their existence, albeit of a privileged class, is that of outsiders. Yet they no more belong in Goa than they do in Angola. She does not recall her ancestral home and her parents cannot fathom how to return to a “life they have forgotten”. Peres da Costa eloquently captures this feeling of displacement across characters and experiences. Saudade is applied not only to the immigrant experience but to intimacy and coming of age.

Suneeta Peres da Costa (born 1976) is an award-winning Australian author and playwright, best known for her tragicomic novel, Homework, about a dysfunctional Goan migrant family set in suburban Sydney. Peres da Costa was twenty-three years-old when the novel was published internationally.” Saudade is her third novel.

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