Margaret Mascarenhas at Home
Goa Residency Studio for artists and writers
The Goan Art Community
Christians in South Asian Lit
Goa Today Column: Urban Gaonkar
Skin Excerpt I
Skin Excerpt II
Excerpt :The Disappearance of Irene Dos Santos
Short stories
Interviews with M
Essays by Margaret Mascarenhas
more essays
Goa's Civil Code
Goa Environment
Goa Garbage Crisis
Link page
Frog Books




Born in Ann Arbor, MI, USA, US citizen of Goan origin, part-time resident of California and part-time resident of Goa, India. Has worked as correspondent, columnist, editor (magazines, books), lecturer, art critic, independent curator, novelist, and creative- writing teacher.





Fluent in English and Spanish, ability to translate from Portuguese, French and Italian to English, with a rudimentary knowledge of Hindi and Konkani.






  • while still an undergrad majoring in Comparative Literature and pre-law at UC Berkeley, worked as an exercise contributor, copy editor and proofreader for college texts, Journal to Essay, by Nell Sullivan (De Anza Community College) and English Language Program, by David Van Becker (San Jose State University). Also tutored students in Spanish, ESL, English, and French.




  • began working full-time as a technical editor and translator (English to French and Spanish) in the Silicon Valley area for manuals and short educational films .




  •  Assistant and Copy Editor to Dr. Saryu Doshi, at Marg Publications, a publisher of scholarly art journals and books in Mumbai, India. Content: primarily art historical/art critical. Twelve hardcover titles, and twelve soft cover journals completed over this period. Some of the hardcover titles during my tenure:


Goa—cultural patterns

Maharashtra (large section on Film and Theatre)

India and Greece—cultural parallels

Jain Miniature Painting


 Also received direct curating training




  • Founding Editor and Managing Editor, Mega-city, monthly features magazine on Mumbai, published first by India Book House and taken over by Express Group.




  • freelance writer. Worked as a features writer for Reuters (Asia); contributing writer/interviewer for Illustrated Weekly, Sunday Magazine, India Today, Times of India, and others; 
  • book editor and Supreme Court petition editor for the environmental NGO, Goa Foundation; book editor for a number of individuals (fiction and non-fiction);
  • proposal writer and fund-raiser for several NGOs working with different aspects of community development in India.
  • wrote the narrative for several short commercial and documentary films
  • set up the first ever platform in Goa for Industry (via CII) and Environment (assorted Goa-based NGOs) to meet and find areas of common ground.
  • wrote the preliminary proposal for funding and sponsorship to Fundacao Oriente for assistance in the translation of the Portuguese Civil Code as practised in Goa into English to serve as a model for the implementation of a civil code throughout India. Also wrote the preliminary proposal for sponsorship of emerging Goan artists and curated their first emerging artist exhibition titled “Imagine”.
  • wrote numerous articles on the need to implement Article 14 of the Indian Constitution, which calls for the creation of an Indian Civil Code, with particular emphasis on rights of succession, as pertain to women and children.




         wrote the Diasporic novel, Skin (Penguin-India 2001, Mercure de France 2002, Editora Replicacao 2006), which traces a fictionalized matrilineal history of the descendents of a slave brought to India from Angola in the 1600s. It is a story that outlines some of the ugly realities of the Portuguese slave trade in Goa and the resulting Diaspora, as well as Goan upper- caste preoccupations and color bias.

         Have written a number of book reviews. Until May of 2002, was a weekly columnist for the Gomantak Times, (wrote over 300 hundred columns primarily concerning political, social and environmental issues.  Periodic guest contributor to the mainstream Indian press (India Today, Femina, Man’s World, Verve Magazine, The Navhind Times, The Herald, Times of India, etc.) Columnist for Goa Today.

         I conduct several creative writing workshops each year, some of them free (in schools), some sponsored (for children and adults) by corporate organizations, such as YPO (Young Presidents’ Organisation) and cultural institutions such as Fundacao Oriente.

         Wrote the novel The Disappearance of Irene Dos Santos, the Grand Central Publishing (Hachette USA) Focus Title for Summer 2009, Barnes and Noble Discover Pick, Winner of a Publishers Lunch Deluxe award.

         Currently in the process of writing a third novel Just Another Car Bomb (working title), as well as a collection of short stories and collection of poetry.

Published Historia, Memoria e Imaginacao (History, Memory and Imagination) in the May 2011 edition of the Gulbenkian Foundation Literary magazine, Coloquio Letras.

         Founding Director and Convenor of the Advisory Board to Sunaparanta—Goa Centre for the Arts, a Dattaraj V Salgaocar initiative.

  • Founding Director of the Blue Shores Silent Prison Art programme, Goa