Arts & Entertainment
4 min

Where have you been, Shyam Selvadurai?

Author talks about long road to publishing The Hungry Ghosts

Shyam Selvadurai on the long road to publishing The Hungry Ghosts.

Shyam Selvadurai will read from his new book, The Hungry Ghosts, at Vancouver’s Central Library May 8, as part of the Incite series produced in partnership with the Vancouver Writers Fest.

 
Selvadurai is around a lot these days — on newspaper covers, radio shows and in online articles. But recently, he has been a little scarce.
 
In 1994, the Canadian author published the award-winning Funny Boy, a coming-of-age novel set in his native Sri Lanka. It won a Lambda Literary Award and became a must-read for gays of a certain generation.

He followed up with Cinnamon Gardens in 1998, but he hasn’t published a novel since. Until now.

 
The title of The Hungry Ghosts borrows from a Buddhist term for ghosts that have a hunger that can never be sated.
 
The protagonist, Sivan, travels between Canada and Sri Lanka, exploring his sexuality and the complexities of two different worlds.
 
In the video interview below, Selvadurai talks with author Vivek Shraya about why it took so long to write The Hungry Ghosts.

Watch xtra.ca in the coming weeks for more from our feature video interview with Selvadurai.