Panjim: Goa Writers, a group of disparate individuals, has launched a book which draws together a wide range of experiences and ideas, and gives a hint of the melting pot called Goa."Inside/Out: New writing from Goa" is the first anthology of the Goa Writers group, which includes some of the best-known writers in the state, alongside those working to improve their writing skills and learn from group mentoring exercise.
"Inside/Out" features exclusive, original work from noted novelist and Aldona resident Amitav Ghosh, as well as previously unpublished contributions from more than 20 other prominent writers.
In his essay Anthony Vaz, Ghosh writes: "I have long been fascinated by nautical dictionaries, especially those that relate to Asian seafarers (or `lascars` as they were once known)."
Other contributors to the volume include Ben Antao, Himanshu Burte, Xavier Cota, Vidyadhar Gadgil, Aimee Ginsburg, Veena Gomes-Patwardhan, Fatima da Silva Gracias, Sheela Jaywant, Jose Lourenco, Damodar Mauzo, Pamela D`Mello, Rosalyn D`Mello and Helene Derkin Menezes.
Photos from Vivek Menezes set in Moira village, and verses from Mafalda Mimoso, Isabel de Santa Rita Vas and Mario Coelho are also part of the book.
It also features Frederick Noronha, Cecil Pinto, Sucheta Potnis, Melinda Coutinho Powell, Prava Rai, Victor Rangel-Ribeiro, Wendell Rodricks, Tony de Sa, Kornelia Santoro, Aniruddha Sen Gupta and Savia Viegas.
The 236-page paperback, priced at Rs.195, has been co-published by Goa, 1556 and Goa Writers. It is available in major bookshops in Goa, and via mail-order through firstname.lastname@example.org. It is slated to be in bookstores all over India soon, and available for sale online as well.
It is to be formally launched March 23, with Ghosh to release the book, and other literary heavyweights due to make an appearance. Weeks before its launch, and barely a fortnight since printed copies became available, some 650 copies of the book have already been sold.
From recollections of the Goa of seven decades ago, through tracing family roots via an age-old photograph, to the travails of a young and upcoming designer in the fashion capital of the world, the book contains a many-splendored bouquet of memories.
Short stories such as engineer-turned-writer Jose Lourenco`s The Fever have the potential to intrigue and entertain. An excerpt of Damodar Mauzo`s Tsunami Simon, translated by Xavier Cota, a foreigner`s eye-view of life in Goa and beyond, a look at a Goan boy`s life in East Africa last century are some of the other vignettes that add charm to the pages.
"We all thought the theme was broad enough to express our thoughts on Goa," says Lourenco, one of the two editors of this volume.
Co-editor, Helene Derkin Menezes describes the book as an "eclectic mix of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and essays all united by their connection to Goa".
An interesting sidelight of this project is, barring the printing, the entire process - compilation and editing, design and layout, finance, marketing and distribution - has been handled by the group`s multi-faceted members.
This release adds another feather to the cap of the Goa Writers group, which was set up six years. It also recently co-hosted the first Goa Arts and Literary Festival in December 2010, in association with the Sahitya Akademi and the International Centre Goa.