Goa the tiny little state, known for its natural beauty, picturesque landscapes and mind blowing food also has lots of literature. People love to have fun, but also enjoy a good book. Our rich heritage and culture has influenced not just our lifestyle but also our history. Even modern Goan literature has traces of our History in it. Many of our own Goan authors have done great research for their works, understanding our past, our present and building captivating fiction around it. Theirs books speak of themes of love, family, tradition, the effects of being colonized. These novels have a worldwide audience and even though they have such deep connection with Goa, it has universal acceptance. These authors have given the tiny state of Goa, something more to it than just its publicity for its food, beaches and parties. They leave you moved. My favorite 5 Goan novels are as follows:
# 5. Goa: A Daughter's Story by Maria Aurora Couto
This book is a Blend Of Biography, Memoir And Social History. The author takes us through a journey of a woman. This book gives a glimpse at Goan life.
#4. Tivolem , by Victor Rangel
The little village of Tivolem is a fictional village, it is a typical Goan village during Portuguese rule. It’s a story of Marie Santana who has returned back to Goa from Mosambique,to look after her grandmother. she has lost her Parents and business and wants to start fresh. But some typical gossip mongers make life hard for her. Spreading gossip and keeping others away from her. Its her journey to forgive her past, and accept new people and make it through her hard times, with love and support of her Grandmother.
#3.The Upheaval by Pundalik Naik
His novel Acchev, was written in Konkani and was the first Konkani novel to be translated to English (The Upheaval). This book as published in 1977. It a foresight of the evils of mining in a small and simple village. The villages with their greed for fast money slowly give up on morals along with farming and seek the mines for their livelihood. This novel has relevance even today as years later, these problems still affect Goa.
# 2. Sorrowing Lies My Land by Lambert Mascarenhas
Lambert Mascarenhas recently celebrated his 100th birthday. His novel Sorrowing Lies My Land, is the story of a family with 9 children, even little villages in Goa get affected by the changes in government in Portugal. Most of the villagers don’t bother taking note. But Tobias the protagonist and father of 9 warns his villagers and fights for Goa to be free. Some of his children go abroad, the others are torn apart because of their clashing views about the Portuguese rulers. This novel is heartbreaking and causes deep sympathy in the heart of the reader.
#1. Skin by Margaret Mascarenhas
One of the best examples of Magic Realism. This book is simply beautiful. The story is so captivating that you just cannot put it down. Pagan the protagonist, pulls together a story that goes back in the time of her ancestors, Goa Elites, slave trade, stories that are beautiful, stories that are disturbing, magical elements, stories that have African tales etc. this book is a must read!
Not too much of a “bookie” myself, but books like these will definitely get you booked.
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