Of Rumours Lived And Told

By Ann Correa

• On a lazy Sunday afternoon, after a lunch of succulent pork and chilled beer, Andrea settles down with her uncle and aunt to retell family stories of Akkai, a Roman Catholic nun (and Andrea’s great-aunt), who died under mysterious circumstances.

• This gets Andrea thinking about the lives of the other nuns in the family – like bold and brassy, salsa-dancing great-aunt Deidre, who left the convent to be the Principal of a college; others soft and steely like Akkai, and the don-like Stella Marie, a nursing superintendent.

• Andrea realizes these women have played a large part in the architecture of her childhood in the Mangalorean Catholic community of Bangalore.

• As she talks to family members about the nun-aunts, Andrea unearths some peculiar and quirky aspects. Through whispered stories in the family, she comes to appreciate the porous convent walls the nun-aunts and the family navigate.

• But she also encounters unexpected reticence from some of the family, whose memories of the nun-aunts are somewhat differently textured.

• This richly human memoir tells the story of how a young girl finds her way through a flood-tide of recollections and emotion to navigate the tricky shoals of family ties, in an effort to bring closure to the family past.

Ann Correa
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ANN LYNN CORREA is currently employed as a PhD scholar at the Department of Philosophy and Humanities, Manipal University, where she studies post-war British women’s literature. A writer of poems, short stories and memoir pieces, she hopes to capture in stories the strife and confusion inherent in people’s lives. The themes she has focused on deal with the strange lives of Roman Catholic nuns in her family, the roots and effects of youthful bravado and angst, the crushing dawn of reason in young adulthood, and coming-of-age tales, precociousness in love and friendship, anxiety and ambition. The underbelly of cities fascinates her, as does the mundane middleclass penchant for drama, good marks, neighbourly gossip, rumours and caricaturing the lives of smothered souls. Ann was long-listed for the Toto Funds Arts, Creative Writing Award in 2015, for her short stories. Singing, painting and badminton remain her hobbies.