Nikki is a modern young Punjabi woman, who has spent most of her twenty-odd years distancing herself from her community and living an independent (read: western) life. But after the death of her father leaves her family in financial straits, she takes a job as a creative writing teacher for a group of aging widows at her temple and discovers that the white dupatta of the widow hides more than just a few greying hairs.
These are women who have lived in the shadows of fathers, brother and husbands their whole lives, being dutiful, raising children and going to temple. They may not have a great grasp of English but what they do have is a wealth of stories and fantasies that they are no longer afraid to share with the other women in the group.
As Nikki realises that she must keep the illicit nature of the class secret from the Brothers – a group of highly conservative young men who have started policing the morals of the temple and the wider community – she starts to help these women voice their desires, and also begins to uncover the truth about the sudden recent death of a young Sikh woman…
About the author
Balli Kaur Jaswal was born in Singapore and has lived all around the world, including Australia, Japan, Russia, the Philippines, Turkey, the US and the UK, where she was a writer in residence at UEA. Her novel, Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows, was inspired by the time she spent in Southall.
She now lives in Singapore.
‘Big-hearted, earthy and funny: turns so many preconceptions upside down. A rattlingly good story’ Deborah Moggach, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
‘Warm and hilariously funny’ Good Housekeeping
‘Charming, hilarious and thoughtful’ The Pool
‘Enlightening and entertaining’ Woman & Home
‘A dark comedy… about empowerment and friendship’ Tatler
‘A page turner… Tackles serious themes with a light and funny touch’ Glamour
‘Funny yet serious, this is a fab book about women, culture and secrets’ Prima
‘Sensual, authentic and hilarious…5 stars’ Sun
‘Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows balances darkness and light, social commentary and ecstatic escapism . . . a funny and moving tale of desire and its discontents’ The Economist
‘By turns erotic, romantic, and mysterious, this tale of women defying patriarchal strictures enchants’ Kirkus Reviews
‘Compulsive, funny and wonderfully original – this novel glows with witty sensuality. I love it ’ Helen Lederer, Losing It
‘Poignant, intelligent yet wickedly funny – a delightful read that reignites one’s belief in the power of sisterhood’ June Sarpong