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East meets west and tradition clashes with modernity in a thought-provoking, cross-cultural novel that might make you look again at the women in your life. Balli Kaur Jaswal's fabulous novel, Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows, is our book club pick for September.
Every woman has a secret life…
When Nikki takes a creative writing job at her local temple, with visions of emancipating the women of the community she left behind as a self-important teenager, she's shocked to discover a group of barely literate women who have no interest in her ideals.
Yet to her surprise, the white dupatta of the widow hides more than just their modesty – these are women who have spent their lives in the shadows of fathers, brothers and husbands; being dutiful, raising children and going to temple, but whose inner lives are as rich and fruitful as their untold stories. But as they begin to open up to each other about womanhood, sexuality, and the dark secrets within the community, Nikki realises that the illicit nature of the class may place them all in danger.
"Big-hearted, earthy and funny… A rattlingly good story" Deborah Moggach, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Balli Kaur Jaswal was born in Singapore and raised in Japan, Russia and the Philippines. She studied creative writing in the United States and has received writing fellowships from the University of East Anglia and Nanyang Technological University. She has published two other novels, Inheritance and Sugarbread in Australia and Singapore and was named Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Australian Novelist 2014. She currently lives in Singapore with her husband.
Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows is published by HarperCollins and is available online and from all good booksellers. If you receive a free copy, please add your questions and comments for Balli to the thread (coming soon!) by the end of September.