Bookworm , the much loved Goa-based initiative committed to books and reading, announces the release of its new book, Once Upon a Feast. The story of a young girl and a statue of St. Francis Xavier is written by the very young and talented Mia Marie Lourenco (13) and illustrated by Fatema Barot Mota, an accomplished fine artist who has trained at Sir JJ Institute of Applied Art and IDC, IIT, Bombay.
The story is peopled with endearing characters who will be familiar to anyone who has lived in a Goan village and inviting for those who have not. Once Upon a Feast has a strong, simple narrative that winds its way through a distressing turn of events that the young protagonist must resolve to restore order to her idyllic world. Lourenco’s young voice shines through the telling, transporting the reader into a time and space of childish fun and festive frolic. The young writer says that her story draws upon the many stories her grandmother told her of her own early life in Goa. Fatema Barot Mota, who moved to the state only six years ago, shows admirable adroitness with the material. With astonishing intimacy and comfort, her lyrical watercolours capture the emotions and interactions of a community as they play out in the soft light and earthy elegance that marks so much of rural Goa.
Sujata Noronha of Bookworm, who says she simply loved the story when she first read it a year ago, marvels at how well it serves Bookworm’s mandate, “It is rooted in Goa, it is a children’s story written by a child with a felicity for storytelling. We are so proud to share this book with our readers.” With St. Francis Xavier the central motif of the fictional story, it is fitting that the book is being released in the run-up to the Saint’s feast on December 3. The book will be released by Wendell Rodricks and the author will read excerpts on December 1 at the St. Michael’s Church, Taleigao at 4. 30 pm.
For copies of the book, contact 9767454121 and for a schedule of readings, call Bookworm on 9823222665.