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I am a “Pure Goan” but there is No Such Thing: An Interview with Peter Nazareth

R. Benedito Ferrão

Abstract


Conducted between February and April, 2017, this e-conversation with writer, literary critic, and professor Peter Nazareth engages him in topics of the Goan diaspora, Goan literature, as well as his own writing and criticism. As a writer of novels, radio plays, and short stories, and as a critic of multiple literatures, Nazareth is asked to reflect upon historical, personal, and other influences on his work, as well as the reception of it. In his responses, Nazareth draws from familial and personal history as a writer whose lived connections include East Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and the West. Additionally, his perspective covers such moments of import as the end of colonialism in East Africa and the Asian expulsion from Idi Amin’s Uganda. He is also asked to comment upon the trajectory of twentieth and twenty-first century Goan literature as an early anthologist of writing by those of Goan origins in various parts of the world. In so doing, Nazareth recalls how he came to the work of writers Leslie de Noronha and Violet Dias Lannoy, the latter an author whose novel was published posthumously. Further, the gamut of issues covered include inter-communal socialities and antagonisms, literature and identity diversity, and the fraught terrain of claims to authenticity.

Keywords


Goan diaspora, East Africa, Goan Literatures, Peter Nazareth, Violet Dias Lannoy

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