Gayathri Prabhu is the author of the memoir If I Had to Tell It Again (HarperCollins, 2017) and the novels The Untitled (Fourth Estate, HarperCollins, 2016), Birdswim Fishfly (Rupa Publications, 2006)and Maya (Indialog Publications, 2003). Her most recent work of fiction is Vetaal and Vikram (HarperCollins, 2019). She is also the co-author of Shadow Craft: Visual Aesthetics of Black and White Hindi Cinema (forthcoming, Bloomsbury, 2021)

Gayathri studied television and film production from MCRC, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, and worked in the media industry for a decade before returning to academics. She studied for a creative writing degree (MPhil) under the mentorship of acclaimed novelist Stevie Davies. This was followed by a PhD in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA, where she won the Vreeland award for best creative manuscript in 2011.

After many years of traveling and being elsewhere, Gayathri has returned to live not far from where she was born, in a town that allows her glimpses of the Arabian Sea on the one side and the Western Ghats on the other. She teaches literary studies at the Manipal Centre for Humanities.

Strongly invested in mental health advocacy, Gayathri is part of a progressive psychotherapy centre for students at Manipal University (

Apart from writing and teaching, Gayathri has also worked as a television producer, an assistant director on feature films, a screenwriter, a bookseller, a content writer, and a director of an independent media company. 

Gayathri received the RK Narayan Award from the Booksellers and Publishers Association of South India at the Chennai Book Fair 2019. She was the Charles Wallace Writing Fellow at the University of Stirling, Scotland, 2020.

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author photo credits: Greeshma Patel
book trailer for the untitled: melvin mathew thomas and manya venkatesh