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Distributed for Seagull Books

Monsoon

With an Introduction by Jason Keith Fernandes
Translated by Paul Melo e Castro
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. They delve into divisions of caste, religion, language, and material privilege, setting them off against a common historical experience and deeply felt attachment to the land.
 
Including a critical and contextualizing introduction by Jason Keith Fernandes, this rendition of Monsoon allows contemporary readers a rare peep into a colonial society that was significantly different from the British Indian mainstream.
 

176 pages | 5 x 8 | © 2019

The India List

Fiction


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Reviews

"First published in 1963, two years after Goa became a part of India, Devi’s Monsoon, written as a resurrection and recreation of her Goan childhood, is a cycle of a dozen stories best described as 'satirical, desolate, tender, humorous and dramatic'."

Huffington Post

"Monsoon offers nostalgia to those looking into the past and hope to those looking into the future, but keeps both in check with a constant sense of unease. These are an enjoyable set of stories despite the dark clouds under which they are gathered."

Portuguese Studies

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