Book Launch: Becoming Goan a contemporary coming home story

Michelle Bambawale
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Golden Goa’s magnetism has always attracted admirers and colonizers. In June 2020, Michelle found herself moving to the 160-year-old house she had inherited in Siolim, a village in North Goa, with her human and canine family.

Having never lived in Goa before, she couldn’t help but wonder if her Goan ancestry made her an insider or if she would forever remain an outsider. In this memoir, she confronts her complex relationship with her Goan Catholic heritage and explores themes of identity, culture, migration, stereotypes, and labels.

Becoming Goan is a heartfelt and charming story of Michelle’s love for this land that her grandparents left her. She cares deeply about Goa’s biodiversity and is distraught about the environmental impact of tourism, construction, and mining. Her devotion to Mother Earth deepens as she learns more about her roots, steeped as they are in syncretic traditions. She finds herself finally becoming Goan when she grasps the nuances of Portuguese property law and the fine facets of feni.

Michelle Mendonça Bambawale wears many hats — professional educator, passionate photographer, aspiring environmentalist, amateur gardener, wannabe ambassador for world peace and now, writer.

Having spent a happy childhood in a Goan Catholic family in Pune, India, she has lived around the world raising her own nomadic family.

Michelle began blogging in 2008 and Becoming Goan a contemporary coming home story, published by Penguin Random House is her first book. It will resonate with everyone who loves Goa.

In conversation with Selma Carvalho a British Asian writer and editor.