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 my writings and presentations.
I am honored to report that I am the recipient of the 2018 Senior Excellence in Research Award from College of Languages, Linguistics and Literatures at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa where I teach!
The Hindu reviews my most recent novel GHOST IN THE TAMARIND!
“S. Shankar captures well the rigidity of caste hierarchy in the countryside. . . . [T]his novel of forbidden love is well-crafted. It is also timeless.”
READING • GHOST IN THE TAMARIND (with Charles Johnson & Sharyn Skeeter) • IIT-Madras (Chennai, India) • Thurs. March 1st, 2018, 4:00 PM
READING: GHOST IN THE TAMARIND • Brazos bookstore • Sunday March 4th, 2018, 5:00 PM
PUBLIC LECTURE • Literature, Freedom of speech, and Censorship in a Comparative Context • University of Houston, Roy G Cullen 113 • Tuesday March 6th, 2018, 4:00 PM
#AWP18 PANEL • Imagining Others: Writing Fiction in English about non-English Speaking Communities • Room 3 & 4, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor • Saturday, March 10, 2018, 12:00:PM–01:15:PM
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…
VIDEO: On GHOST IN THE TAMARIND
“S. Shankar’s Ghost in the Tamarind is an impressive achievement–a conscientiously woven narrative that concurrently takes into account two inviolable principles and attempts to find a balance in between: the truth as well as the invasive and often violent finitude of perspective. If the answers to history’s problems always arrive too late, a phrase I borrow from the novel, how should the history of the present be narrated in the agonizing interregnum between an unbearable present and an inconceivable salvific future? Relying on history not just as back drop but as its very backbone, Shankar’s novel creates a credible world whose realism is critically mimetic of its own conditions of possibility.”
–R. Radhakrishnan, Chancellor’s Professor, University of California at Irvine
NOW AVAILABLE for purchase!!
“Ghost in the Tamarind is a novel that must be read not just for its historical sweep but also for the power of storytelling.” (Nalini Iyer in the International Examiner)
“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!
I am the recipient of the FULBRIGHT-NEHRU AWARD FOR 2017-2018!
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.