READING

Goa Books: Read your way through India’s fav...

Goa Books: Read your way through India’s favourite holiday destination

feature image for a list of goa books

When we think of Goa, we often think of beaches and parties. But do we think of Goa books? For those who have been or plan to visit this beautiful holiday destination, you must know that Goa has some a healthy literary culture, some lovely bookstores, and fantastic writers who have written several books on Goa, capturing its multi-facted richness – cultural, historical, culinary, as well as political.

We encourage you to buy books from a local bookstore. If that is not possible, please use the links on the page and support us. Thank you.

We bet everyone will find something to interest them in this list of Goa books specially curated for you!

book cover of 'In Black and White', a book about the press in Goa, as part of a list on Goa Books

Title: In Black and White
Editor: Frederick Noronha
Publisher: Goa, 1556

Blurb: In Goa, India, the media seldom writes critically about themselves. Dog doesn’t eat dog, as one journalist would argue, to explain this trend. As mediapersons, we need to ask ourselves why these stories have not been encouraged (or allowed) to surface. At one level, this is not a book just about the media. By talking about a number of locally-relevant issues, it offers in-teresting hints about a range of aspects of Goan life. Not surprisingly, this series of essays is critical of some of past icons of Goan journalism, and is a Goa book you must read if you want to look past the pristine exterior of the State.

Price: Rs. 2500, Rs 0 on Kindle Unlimited || Pages: 483

painting of three villagers, which is the book cover of The Upheavel, a goa book

Title: The Upheaval, translated from Acchev
Author: Naik Pundalik Narayan || Translator: Vidya Pai
Publisher: Oxford University Press

Blurb: The first Konkani novel to be translated into English, Acchev is a landmark in the history of the language for its amplitude and depth.

It illumines peasant life in the Ponda district against the changing landscape of modernity and industrialization, which has fragmented village communities.

This Goa book is about a traditional agrarian society that lives by myths and unspoken rules, and how it comes into contact with modern mechanized ways of life. It provides insights into the sociological framework of rural Goa at the time of its liberation from Portuguese rule.

Critics have hailed this as ‘ a near-perfect work’, and the elegant English translation retains the nuance, lilt, humor, and poetic rhythm of the original.

Price: Rs. 475 || Pages: 144

book cover of The Wait and Other Stories, with two hands on a table and a red background. It is a part of a list titled Goa books

Title: The Wait and Other Stories
Author: Natasha Sharma
Publisher: Vintage Books

Blurb: Konkani writer Damodar Mauzo‘s sometimes bizarre, sometimes tender stories, set largely in
Goa, create a world far removed from the sun and sand and the holiday resorts. Here you find villagers facing moral choices, children waking up to the realities of adult lives, men who dwell on remorse, women who live a life of regret and communities whose bonds are growing tenuous in an age of religious polarization. Probing the deepest corners of the human psyche with tongue-in-cheek humour, Mauzo’s stories reveal the many threads that connect us to others and the ease with which they can be broken. Written in simple prose and yet layered in nuances, The Wait is a collection that brings to the anglophone world one of the doyens of Konkani literature, and is a must-read Goa book for all lovers of its beauty and calm.

Price: Rs. 388 || Pages: 256

a picture of a goan home with a yellow border, which is the cover of a goa book

Title: Goa: A Daughter’s Story
Author: Maria Aurora Couto
Publisher: Penguin India

Blurb: Goa: A Daughter’s Story, written by Maria Aurora Couto, is a book about 450 years of Goa’s history. The novel describes how the state of Goa came into existence, how various dynasties fought over the territory and how the Portuguese came to occupy Goa for 450 years. She sheds light on the religious, cultural and linguistic influences of the Marathas and the Portuguese, who ruled Goa for a time. Read this Goa book before you visit it next time!

Price: Rs. 416 || Pages: 456

cover of the goa book age of frenzy - with a blue water colour background

Title: Age of Frenzy
Author: Mahabaleshwar Sail || Translator: Vidya Pai
Publisher: Harper Perennial

Blurb: It’s 1510. The Portuguese arrive in Goa armed with guns, swords and crucifixes to the agricultural village of Adolshi, where Hindus have been living peacefully. A sense of foreboding fills them as tigers prowl, cow bones appear in wells, chariot wheels break on festival day. The Portuguese king has licenced Jesuits to take over and staunch white men move about preaching the word of the Son of God. Land is seized, families broken. But Padre Simao Peres is convinced that love and not force will bring about a change of heart. With the Inquisition looming like an axe over everyone’s heads, a saga of choice plays out for the people of the village. Recounting a history forgotten to most people now, Mahabaleshwar Sail’s epic Goa book, Age of Frenzy, documents a turbulent past of religious rifts, caste hierarchies and power shifts which changed the ethos of a significant part of the western coastline of India forever.

Price: Rs. 276 || Pages: 324

Title: Moving to Goa
Author: Katharina Kakar
Publisher: Penguin India

Blurb: Many people dream of escaping the stresses and strains of urban life and moving to Goa. Katharina Kakar and her husband, the psychoanalyst and writer Sudhir Kakar, followed their dream and boldly took that plunge-buying a charming old house in a tranquil south Goa village, where they hoped to find a whole new way of living and working. Ten years later, they are still there, living the idyll-and the reality-of life in Goa. So which is the real Goa? Is it all about sun and sand, beaches and bikinis, feni and vindaloo? This book captures the allure of all these, as well as the festivals and rituals that punctuate the rhythm of village life. If you have ever thought of moving here, this Goa book is your holy book!

Price: Rs. 399 || Pages: 240

Title: Monsoon
Author: Vimala Devi
Publisher: Seagull Books

Blurb: An actor of traditional Hindu dramas meets an adolescent girl who turns out to be his half-sister. A man returns to Goa from Mozambique to father a child for a family whose unmarried daughters has produced no heirs. Another man feels out of place in his family home after returning from Portugal to get a University education, as a woman waits faithfully for him to return. A forbidden romance blooms between a Christian girl and a Hindu boy. Through these stories, written with a mix of poignant nostalgia and sharp criticism, Vimala Devi recreates the colonial Goa of her childhood. First published in 1963, two years after the Portuguese colony became part of India, monsoon is a cycle of twelve stories that vary in tone. By turns satirical, desolate, tender, humorous, and dramatic, they come together through a subtle interplay of echoes, parallels and cross-references to form a Composite picture of a world gone by, and a Goa gone by. A must-read Goa book.

Price: Rs. 355 || Pages: 176


Part-time writer, full-time chemistry student, and a crazy person with a sublime dose of eccentricity, Amritesh loves everything literature. Gift him a book if you chance upon him and he'll love you forever.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *