I am a scholar-novelist. I write in different genres because the word is supple and powerful, sometimes more powerful than the sword.
Explore to learn about some of my writings and presentations, including information on my forthcoming novel GHOST IN THE TAMARIND.
IPPY Magazine selects Ghost in the Tamarind a Notable Book of the Month!
What the Ancient Sanskrit Story of Ekalavya Can Teach Us about the Enterprise of Higher Education Today
Sometimes old texts gain new relevance. Take the classical Sanskrit story of Ekalavya, which goes back a couple of millennia (give or take a few centuries). I doubt many readers of this blog will be aware of this short evocative story embedded within the great epic narrative of the Mahabharata, though the story is widely known among the approximately one fifth of humanity that lives in India. Increasingly, it seems to me this irresistible story from my childhood has vital insights to offer about the experiences of students who find themselves at odds with the powerful institutions into which they have entered. These students are the so-called “snowflakes” in the news, who when they voice their opinions regarding curricula, campus culture or guest speakers are finding themselves in the midst of “the new culture wars.” I find myself turning to Ekalavya while thinking about these students.
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VIDEO: On GHOST IN THE TAMARIND
NOW AVAILABLE for purchase!!
“The narrative is rich with memorable characters and moments, along with a beautiful, sensual flow of language.” (Foreword Reviews)
“Subversions, transgressions, and transcending boundaries are at the center of Ghost in the Tamarind, and Ramu, a Brahmin with a revolutionary heart, is a fitting protagonist. One of the novel’s many pleasures is its seamless weaving of historical contexts, all the more impressive for its range, from the nineteenth century to the 1970s.” (Samrat Upadhyay)
“S. Shankar has created an ambitious and moving novel that traverses several crucial eras in India’s history. He has masterfully woven into it the lives of Ramu and Ponni, the heroic yet very human lovers who struggle against the bonds of colonialism as well as the prejudices within their own communities that threaten to destroy them.” (Chitra Divakaruni)
CASTE AND LIFE NARRATIVES, a special issue of the journal Biography, I co-edited with Dr. Charu Gupta of the University of Delhi is now out! Click below to go to the Project Muse site!
FULBRIGHT-NEHRU AWARD FOR 2017-2018
I am off to India for nine months starting mid-September!
University of Hawai`i at Mānoa Press Release
RECENTLY ADDED TO THE VIDEO ARCHIVE
Videos of My Public Lecture and my Interview with Dr. Vida Robertson at the University of Houston (Downtown). From My Visit as 2016 CCRS Scholar-in-Residence.
In Summer 2016, I was invited by H. Nikhila of English and Foreign Languages University in Hyderabad, India, to record an interview on Film, Translation and Myth for the multimedia journal Caesurae.
The interview was conducted before a live audience on the campus of the English and Foreign Languages University. Go here for the interview.
The images above and at the bottom of the page relate to my novel GHOST IN THE TAMARIND.