Michael is an artist and writer in his early twenties. Gayathri is a novelist and taught Michael for two years at university. This is a conversational writing project about the evening that Michael attempted to end his life, and revisits the transformative experience that followed.


AN ESSAY ON WRITING A MEMOIR AND WHY  A PUBLIC TELLING MATTERS  – “Why Remember Why Tell: Notes from a Reluctant Memoirist”  –  published in the Economic and Political Weekly, August 2018 –  postscript-EPW


REVIEWS of If I Had to Tell It Again

Scroll: “This deeply personal and unconventional memoir about depression, loss and abuse reinvents the form….[it] shows us how many such stories must be out there and need to see the light of day.” – Apoorva Sripathi:

The Wire: “If I Had to Tell it Again is a beautifully written, highly wrought and deeply emotional book. It is a daring and brave challenge to our preconceptions both about writing and about depression” – Madhavi Menon:

First Post: “The book had me wincing, frequently. I had to put it away twice before I could go back to it and yet, I cannot recommend it enough. It is perhaps exactly why I would recommend it. It needs to be read.” – Krupa Ge:

Indian Journal of Medical Ethics (IJME):  “If I had to tell it again pushes its reader to ask fundamental questions about parenting, how mentally ill individuals relate to each other and to the larger world, and the human ability to hurt, nurture, love and forgive.” – Rohini Shukla:

Scroll: “Gayathri Prabhu’s memoir of unconventional grieving in the wake of an alcoholic parent’s demise is a book unlike any other we have seen in India.” – Urvashi Bahuguna:

Research and Humanities in Medical Education: “This book is a must-read for all, irrespective of profession and age group” – Trveen Dhillon:

The News Minute:  “The tone and manner of writing is very threadbare and light but each word is heavy with emotion.” Sandeep Narayanan:

Indian Express: “[the memoir]shatters this silence [about families] with an intimate examination of the relationship between the author and her late father […] for this reason alone, this book deserves to be read” – Ram Sarangan: Shelf life: Dark Days

The Shrinking Couch: “I would recommend reading it to borrow courage” – Nivida Chandra:

Deccan Chronicle and Asian Age:” I did not want to sound like a martyr, a victim, or a warrior ”

Arundhathi Subramaniam, Poet: [a] book I particularly enjoyed for its mix of candour, poise and urgency in a fiercely loving portrait of a parent.”:

Easterine Kire, author: “This book is so incisive, she writes it so beautifully that one should take it only in small doses.”


REVIEWS of The Untitled

The Wire: “Here at last is an Indian historical novel that resists the temptation to be intimate with the monumental, using instead the lives of obscure (and imaginary) characters to tell the story of Tipu Sultan’s Mysore.” – Prashant Keshavmurthy :

Huffington Post: “Gayathri Prabhu’s prose is supple and sublime. Her excellent command over the language and thorough research shine through the book. She evokes the details of the past with such brilliance that the era comes alive in your imagination.” – Yash Raj Goswami:

The Hindu: ” The Untitled is a book that harks back to the novels of the 20th century, an era when literary enterprises comfortably contained orphans, fortune-seeking travellers, spies, political intrigue, love and betrayal, all jostling for space in a single narrative. Gayathri Prabhu stitches these elements together with a politics that is sympathetic, as the title obliquely conveys, to those whom typical histories would leave out.” – Thomas Manuel.:


BLOG REVIEWS of If I Had to Tell It Again

Harini Calmur: “What surprised me most was the honesty with which Prabhu can talk about issues, most people won’t be talking about.”

Mithila Reviews Books: “one of the best books I have read this year”

The Bookish Bulletin: “Gayathri Prabhu takes language where it hesitates to go”

Stuti Ashok Gupta: “Every word, every sentence of this book is extremely literary, you pick up from anywhere and you’d feel like you are reading a poem”:

Dusky Moonlight: “a series of life-events narrated to make the readers understand the importance of sharing, talking, lending a helping hand, and believing” :

Times of Gee: “Read this book to learn strength and patience ; to understand that it’s important to acknowledge and accept ; and learn how to fail” :

Reviewing Shelf: Flowing over the page, unbidden, unstoppable, like a river in motion”

Privy Tirfles: “This book is the guiding light that will help you sail through the most difficult phases with its sheer radiance.” :

Monica Kamath: “It is a slice of  life which will resonate with millions of readers.

The Book Collector 32: “Being a first born to a volatile father I could easily identify with many situations”:

The Ink Spiller: “A father-daughter relationship will always have more love than words but here the words nor the love was enough to mend it” :

Vidya Thakkar: “This book teaches you to get through the pain with some beautifully described situations.”

Sunanda Pati:  “Here was an account that sought closure and exploration in the same breath”:



Sid Book Reviewer, author interview: “Writing gives form, makes everything bearable” :



kiran-cover     by Kiran Joan


Memoir_ReviewAM_2 by Ashvini Menon





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