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Books based on Goa

Almost everyone's dream destination bucket list has at least one visit to Goa, and for a good reason, the beaches, the coconut water, and the culture are worth looking forward to. Of course, parties, drugs, and beaches are just one side of the coin to describe what Goa is, but while we love making plans about Goa, not many know the struggling history that this state of India suffered alone.

Did you know that Goa does not celebrate its independence on 15th August?
This is because Goa was the last to get freedom on 19th December 1961 from the Portuguese, while the rest had already gained independence in 1947. It shows how limited our knowledge is about a part of our country.

Today is Goa Liberation Day, and what better way to learn and understand something than reading about it. So we curated a list of fiction and non-fiction books about Goa that are educational and amusing in many aspects.


1. Moving to Goa by Katharina Kakar 
Genre:
Memoir/Travelogue

Moving to Goa

There's the Goa we know that is too proud of its sand beaches, beautiful roads, peace, and then there's the Goa that Goans know, one that is so profoundly incorporated in their life, of locals, their festivals, and rituals. Moving to Goa is a beautiful memoir cum travelogue about the author who moved to Goa with her husband several years ago to erase the stresses of life like so many others do.

She deeply talks about what everyone knows about Goa and its beauty and explains and introduces the reader to the lesser-known facts about Goa that non-Goans don't know of. Highly recommended for people who are just about to give a dip on the beaches of one of the most cherished states of India, and a caution that reading this will increase your bucket list while you're on the trip. You can find the book here.


2. Goa Gold Goa Silver by Prajal Sakardande 
Genre:
Non-Fiction

Goa Gold Goa Silver

Goa Gold Goa Silver is insightful historiography containing the entire history of Goa from the earliest times and ending with the inclusion of the Parrikar era in March 2019. The book is entirely politically unbiased and gives you a pure idea of Goan heritage over the years and how it has reached transformation. You can find the book here.


3. Moda Goa-History And Style
by Rodricks Wendell 
Genre:
Historical Non-Fiction

Moda Goa-History And Style

If you are a self-described fashion nerd, then you might interest yourself in this impeccable debut work by Rodricks Wendell. This book talks about the history of garments and how they've evolved in styles and fashion industries over the years. It mainly emphasizes how Goa played such a significant role in bringing indo-western clothing into the trendsetting sectors of the fashion world because of the mix of traditional and cultural influence Goa has touched upon. 

Rodrick Wendell also includes beautiful archives of photos and illustrations depicting the various kinds of clothing - be it the drapes of the Buddhists, the brocade clothing of the Mughals, or the western influence by the Portuguese and the British. You can find the book here.


4. En Route Goa: A Memory Can Taint Your Dreams
by Abilash Balan
Genre:
Horror Fiction

En Route Goa

En Route Goa is an impeccably written short novella about a couple of people meeting in the middle of their journey as they progress towards different destinations. The story is entirely plot-driven and drawn from the travelers' adventures. A perfect read for anyone traveling to Goa through a late-night train. You can find the book here.


5. Teresa's Man and Other Stories from Goa
by Damodar Mauzo 
Genre:
Contemporary Fiction

Teresa's Man and Other Stories from Goa

Teresa's Man and other stories from Goa is a compilation of stories that demonstrates the real idea about Goa and Goan life. One of the most recognizable stories from this book is of the 'Coinsanv's Cattle,' a gut-wrenching story of a farmer couple who would have to make an impossible choice between starving and keeping their farm animals alive or sending them to the slaughterhouse. You can find the book here.


6. Poskem: Goans in the Shadows by Wendell Rodricks 
Genre:
Own Voices Fiction

Poskem: Goans in the Shadows

In this book, the author explains the ever prevalent practice of Poskem where Goan orphans are taken in by wealthy families only to be treated as servants later. This book is written as a tribute to the victims of the dark history of Goa. There are also many shared local Goan recipes that Wendell talks about in the book. You can find the book here.


7. Let Me Tell You About Quinta: In Hour of Eclipse by Savia Viegas 
Genre:
Fiction

Let Me Tell You About Quinta

Let Me Tell You About Quinta reads a lot like literary fiction. Savia Viegas writes about a man called Queirozito who has recently won a lease against a relative who was being invasive about his family inherited house called Quinta. He asks his nephew Suraj from the USA to come down to look at the home and work on the repairs when the latter's Russian-American wife again seeks to be intrusive about his wife. He decides to fight against it again, only to stumble upon some of his family's dark secrets. This book is considerably compared and said to have reflected the state of contemporary Goan society. You can find the book here.


8. Afterlife - Ghost Stories from Goa by Jessica Faleiro 
Genre:
Horror Fiction

Afterlife - Ghost Stories from Goa

If you are interested in spooky ghost stories, this might be the book for you. On the occasion of Savio Fonseca's 75th birthday in the Carvalho mansion of Goa, the Fonseca family and friends come for a nice, celebratory get together when suddenly electricity goes out, leaving the entire estate dissolving in the ebb of darkness. 

At that moment, like any other family, people sit together under the looming yellow light of candlelight and swap real-life-based ghost stories; stories about mysterious sightings to lonely buildings, magic spells, and how even the family name is something weird to be brought up in question. The stories included are not as scary as leaving you with sleepless nights but alarming enough for any ghost story lover to enjoy. You can find the book here.


9. Goa: A Daughter's Story by Maria Aurora Couto 
Genre:
Historical Non-Fiction

Goa: A Daughter's Story

Goa a daughter's story is a great historical novel that explains briefly Goan history in detail from Maria's eyes. She talks about the initial days of Goa in the beginning chapters, then goes on to describe the days of Portuguese ruling Goa. She also talks about the corruption and how Goa has been turned into this recreational place that everyone wishes to visit at least once in their life as modernity approaches Goa. 

On a more personal observation, the author also presents the discrimination and the caste system differences between Goan Christians and non-Christians, and the ecological degradation owing to the increasing tourism of Goa. You can find the book here.


10. Skin by Margaret Mascarenhas 
Genre:
Multi-Generational Diaspora Fiction

Skin

If you like historical fiction paired with magic and mythology, you're going to enjoy this book about Goa. This book talks about a story revolving around Maria Miranda Flores, who crosses oceans from California to Goa to meet her grandmother and learns the mysteries of her life such as slaving, immense family fortune built, social inequalities, etc. This story offers a complex view of this family with detailed accounts of the Portuguese invasion and when it ruled Goa. You can find the book here.

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