I am a scholar-novelist. I write in different genres because the word is supple and powerful, sometimes more powerful than the sword.

Shankar_picExplore 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!


Does America have a caste system?

Here’s a piece that I wrote for The Conversation on caste in America, as in: Does America have it? Is caste a useful category to understand social hierarchy and exclusion?

Go here to read it and to participate in the robust discussion if you wish.

…. Read More…


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NOW AVAILABLE for purchase!!

Shankar Ghost Cover

“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!

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I am off to India for nine months starting mid-September!

University of Hawai`i at Mānoa Press Release


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.



  1. Thanks for a marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it, you’re a great author.
    I will make certain to bookmark your blog and may come back
    in the foreseeable future. I want to encourage
    you continue your great writing, have a nice weekend!


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