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Maria Aurora Couto is confirmed dead at the age of 84.

The life of Maria Aurora Couto was long and fruitful. We look forward to reuniting in the glorius afterlife.
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'The world will miss Maria💔
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Maria was best known as a Indian writer and educationalist.
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Maria Aurora Couto
Couto at her home in Carona, Aldona in 2015
Couto at her home in Carona, Aldona in 2015
BornMaria AUrora Figueiredo
(1937-08-22)August 22, 1937[citation needed]
Goa, Portuguese India, Portugal
DiedJanuary 14, 2022(2022-01-14) (aged 86–87)
Occupation
  • Writer
  • professor
Notable works
  • Goa: A Daughter's Story
  • Filomena's Journeys
Notable awardsPadma Shri (2010)
Maria Aurora Couto (August 22, 1937; - 14 January 2022) was an Indian writer and educationalist from Goa. She was best known for her book Goa: A Daughter's Story and for generally promoting literature and ideas within Goa and beyond. She lived in the North Goa village of Aldona. She helped start the DD Kosambi Festival of Ideas and has been involved in activities of Goa University where she was a member of the Executive Committee.
Contents
1 Early life
2 Family and schooling
3 Marriage and migration
4 Career, literature and writing
5 Role in Goa
6 Personal life and death
7 Works
8 Awards
9 References
10 External links
Early life
Couto's family hails from the Roman Catholic Goan community, and her family grew up in times when the region was part of the Portuguese-ruled Estado da India.
Family and schooling
Her parents, António Caetano Francisco (Chico) de Figueiredo and Maria Quitéria Filomena Borges, were both from the coastal, mainly Catholic region or sub-district of Salcete. She moved as a child to the neighbouring city of Dharwad, then in Mysore, and a centre of education and opportunity for Goans, with her parents and six siblings -- including Francisco Xavier, Emma, Lilia Teresa, Luis de Figueiredo, Marise.
She left Goa at 8, studied in a Catholic primary, Protestant high school, and the Karnatak College, later a university -- which had students from all over the then region of Mysore as only Bangalore had colleges then, she said in a 2021 interview. She said her life was centered around her identity as an Indian, as a Goan, and as a Catholic.
Marriage and migration
She married a prominent Indian civil administrator of Goan origin, Alban Couto (Albano Francisco Couto), and spent time outside of India, and returned back to shape the literature of the region in her latter years.
Career, literature and writing
She taught English both in Goa, at the then-fledging Dhempe College, and later outside the State at some prominent institutions in Delhi.
Couto's writing career began with her 1986 book about Graham Greene. Her 2004 book, Goa: A Daughter's Story, covers the history of Goa along with being an autobiography. The book discusses Goa, from the prehistoric times to its Portuguese colonialism to its Liberation and subsequent loss of culture. In 2014, Couto released her book Filomena's Journeys, which delves into the life of her mother, Filomena Borges, covering "Goa’s dying Catholic elite" as it shows the shift of society and culture in Goa.
In her first and well-received Goa-focussed book she describes her father's battles with alcoholism, life in the changing times, and growing up in multicultural India. Couto went on to teach English literature in colleges like Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi and Dhempe College, Panaji and has contributed to periodicals in India and the United Kingdom.
Role in Goa
As the Chairperson of the DD Kosambi Centenary Committee in 2008, Couto helped initiate the DD Kosambi Festival of Ideas, a lecture series sponsored by the Department of Culture, Govt of Goa. Couto has also been actively involved with the Goa University.
Personal life and death
Her husband, Albano Francisco Couto (better known as Alban Couto), belonged to the Indian Administrative Service. She met him in Mumbai and they had three children together, Vinay, Veena (Pinto de Andrade) and Vivek Victor Due to the nature of his work, they would travel and stay across the country. They almost settled in Chennai, before finally choosing to live in Aldona, Goa, in his ancestral house. She enjoyed listening to South African jazz and was passionate about films, having started a film club when she was a teacher. Albano Couto died in June 2009.
Maria Couto died on 14 January 2022 after a brief illness. She received wide tributes from writers, politicians and other quarters.
Works
The works of Couto include:
Couto, Maria (2004). Goa: A Daughter's Story. Penguin Books India. ISBN 978-0-14-303343-1.
Pereira, A. B. de Braganca (2008). Ethnography of Goa, Daman and Diu. Penguin UK. ISBN 978-93-5118-208-5. (a translation of Etnografia da India Portuguesa by A.B. Braganza Pereira from Portuguese)
Couto, Maria (2013). Filomena's Journeys: A Portrait of a Marriage, a Family & a Culture. Aleph Book Company. ISBN 978-93-82277-04-0.
Awards
In 2010, the Government of India, awarded Maria Aurora Couto the Padma Shri, the fourth highest Indian civilian award.
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