Transnational author, essayist and poet Margaret Mascarenhas passed away on the intervening night of July 13 and 14. The author of books like Skin, The Disappearance of Irene Dos Santos and Triage, Mascarenhas was an American citizen of Goan origin.
The author, who was an integral part of the post-colonial discourse, has had her books translated in various languages, including French. Her essays and opinion pieces have also been published in various publications.
Mascarenhas was believed to be suffering from cancer. The reason for her death is however not known yet.
Farewell Margaret Mascarenhas. You left us too soon. pic.twitter.com/fc5bHtm8ue
— Namita Gokhale (@NamitaGokhale_) July 15, 2019
When I married a Goan, someone gifted me a copy of Skin to initiate me into a land and its people. Years later when I met Margaret Mascarenhas, I told her the book would forever be the starting point of my experience of a people and land I consider my own now. #unforgettable
— Arpita Das (@arpitayodapress) July 14, 2019
Trying and failing to say a proper farewell to Margaret Mascarenhas, novelist, poet, curator, essayist. And also old and dear friend, wise mentor, fellow knight of the kitchen table, companion of so many Goa adventures.
Some absences are harder than others. pic.twitter.com/DTENnlL3VN
— Nilanjana Roy (@nilanjanaroy) July 14, 2019
A look at some of her most memorable works.
Published in 2001, Skin is a fascinating narrative consisting of women and their stories spanning across generations and continents. Their seemingly fragmentary stories, that start at a bar in California and move to a Goan village, come together at the end as Mascarenhas, artfully and craftily, tie up all the loose ends, gifting us a compelling read. The book has been translated into French and Portuguese.
The Disappearance of Irene Dos Santos
A tale of memory and love woven tenderly and with care, The Disappearance of Irene Dos Santos was selected for the Indie Next List. The story revolves around Irene dos Santos who disappears at the age of 15. Although many believed her to have drowned, her body was never found. She resurfaces, years later, in her best friend’s dreams, triggering a journey of finding the truth about her sudden disappearance. The result is a richly cut portrait of Venezuela that was rife with revolution.
This collection of poems and sketches stands out for being a deeply layered, evocative work and ultimately being a fitting example of what marriage of words and images look like.