Shyam reads from his novel, The Hungry Ghosts, and in his lecture “Writing Myself into the Diaspora”, talks about what it means to be a writer working from the hyphen between Sri Lankan and Canadian.
The Tagore Lecture Series is made possible by a gift from Cornell Professor Emeritus Narahari Umanath Prabhu and Mrs. Sumi Prabhu to honor Rabindranath Tagore, a celebrated writer and musician, and one of the great luminaries of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Established by Toronto City Council in 1974, The Toronto Book Awards honour authors of books of literary or artistic merit that are evocative of Toronto and The Hungry Ghosts was one of the five finalists.
In honour of the 40th anniversary of these awards, each shortlisted book was also paired with a Toronto champion who promoted the book via social media and gave an introduction at the awards ceremony – Shyam’s champion was filmmaker John Greyson.
Watch Shyam discuss The Hungry Ghosts in this special Toronto Book Awards author video - and see, too, John Greyson advocate for Shyam’s work and for this “epic and personal” novel in particular.
Toronto, April 2014 (Shyam is pictured receiving his award from Lawrence Spicer (left) of RBC.
More pictures »)
On April 24, 2014 Shyam was honoured, along with authors Waawaate Fobister, Patricia Nell-Warren, and Edmund White, for his contribution to advancing the cause of sexual diversity through writing.
The awards, celebrating The Power of Word, were presented at Hart House's Great Hall at the annual Bonham Centre Awards Gala. More than 200 supporters of the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies attended the gala. The event was made possible thanks to the generous support of RBC, the presenting sponsor.
The Canada Council for the Arts today announced the list of finalists for the 2013 Governor General’s Literary Awards, and The Hungry Ghosts is a nominee in the fiction category. The GGs are awarded in both official languages, in seven categories: fiction, poetry, drama, non-fiction, children’s literature (text and illustration) and translation.
“Get ready for late nights!” said Robert Sirman, Director and CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts. “Great books abound among this year’s GG finalists and you won’t be able to put them down. Further proof of the prolific and potent Canadian literary scene.”
April 8, 2013: Shyam explains the Buddhist myth of hungry ghosts, and discusses the issues his book explores.
Shyam is proud to be the Founder and Project Director of Write to Reconcile, a creative writing project in English undertaken by The National Peace Council of Sri Lanka. The aim of the project is to bring together emerging Sri Lankan writers who are interested in writing creative pieces (fiction, memoir or poetry) on the issues of conflict, peace, reconciliation, memory and trauma, as they relate to Sri Lanka.
- Visit the Write to Reconcile website
- Article: ‘Write to Reconcile anthology – Shyam gearing to do it all over again’ (The Sunday Times, Sri Lanka)
- Article: ‘The Nuts and Bolts of Reconciliation’ (The Sunday Leader, Sri Lanka)
- Article: 'Building bridges creatively' (The Sunday Times, Sri Lanka)
- Article: 'Writing to Reconcile in Sri Lanka' (Groundviews: Journalism for Citizens)
Literature, identity, politics and the Galle Literary Festival
Watch Shyam’s interview during his curatorship of the Galle Literary Festival
|September 11, 2012
|Reading: Funny Boy and Cinnamon Gardens|
|November 7, 2012
|Buddhist Narrative and Poetry
|October 18, 2012
|Pardon: Is accountability for past wrongs necessary for a person or nation to move forward?
|September 27, 2012
|Trauma and Diaspora
|September 10, 2012
|Reading: The Hungry Ghosts