Author: Margaret Mascarenhas Genre:
ISBN: 978-93-80739-05-2 Price (PB) : Rs. 295 Mail Enquiry
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Nine years after it was first published by Penguin India, the Margaret Mascarenhas widely-appreciated novel Skin has come home to Goa. A new edition, its fourth and the first to be brought out locally, was co-published by Goa,1556 and Broadway Publishing House. Skin was first published in 2001, and then in 2002 (in French by Mercure de France) and 2006 (and in Portuguese by Editora Replição).

The work — which touches on an inter-generational story spanning the US, Goa, Africa and elsewhere — was widely appreciated, as has been Mascarenhas’ skill as a novelist.

American-born Margaret Mascarenhas is a freelance writer, columnist and editorial consultant of Goan origin who has lived, worked and taught in the U.S. and India during the course of her career. She currently resides in Goa. Her second novel The Disappearance of Irene Dos Santos was recently published too.

It’s exciting to read a first novel because one gets a flavour of the difficulty of the process of writing. There are bits in Margaret Mascarenhas’ novel that take your breath away, and bits that seem somewhat threadbare, where the author’s intention reveals itself a little too clearly. At the same time, it’s also terribly exciting. You don’t know where you will be taken, or what you will be shown. As a first novel, Mascarenhas has given us something memorable — a wild tale of Portuguese Goa, and a wacky heroine. The book quickly draws you into the world of a cultural hybrid called Pagan, who is searching to fill the void inside herself, but in the process somewhat unexpectedly discovers her roots. But her roots, we discover, are not simply Saraswat Brahmin Goan Catholic on one side and Southern Baptist American on the other. They are far more mixed-up than that. There is slavery and Africa in her blood, and Portugal too. There’s love, deceit, emotionally impotent men and powerful though unfulfilled women, extra-marital affairs and illegitimate children. And in the end there’s Pagan, a heroine who is global right to her very genes. –Radhika Jha, Outlook.