Goan Short Stories by Women Writers: Parables of the Goan Psyche
-by Dr. Brian Mendonca
In this paper I would like to consider Goan short stories by three contemporary women writers, viz. Nisha Da Cunha, Aldina Braganza e Gomes and Jessica Faleiro. These writers write in English. They also have great potential to be translated. They matter to Goa because they through their writing and lineage -- which is often Goan -- they offer an insider’s view of Goa transmuted through the literary form of the short story. Being women writers they have a unique sensibility – a cadence, a zeal and a perspective -- which is at once Goan as well as global. This inquiry is urgent since more attention has been given to male writers of Goan forms of literature obscuring the fact that from aching lyricism to ghost stories, women short story writers of/on Goa have ‘a literature of their own.’
Women writers in Goa have generally displayed a fondness for the memoir, the autobiography and the novel. The Goan short story by a woman writer is harder to find given the seeming reluctance of mainstream publishers to publish them. Stories by these women writers are women-centric and portray life through the pain experienced by women, viz. grandmother Avozinha in Aldina Gomes’ ‘The Girl in the Frame,’ and Dona Angela in Nisha Da Cunha’s ‘Home.’ In so doing they unravel an intricate web of Goa’s past tied to the realities of the present – parables which continue to mirror themselves in the Goan psyche.
One-day Literary Meet on ‘Goa Matters in Goan Writing in English and in Translation,’ Department of English, Goa University, Goa, 30 April 2014. Pix of Brian presenting his paper at the literary meet. The paper was well-received.