Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows

Book - 2017
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After her father's death, Nikki, who has spent most of her life distancing herself from the traditional Sikh community, takes a job teaching a creative writing course in the heart of the Punjabi community.
Publisher: New York, NY : William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2017]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062645111
Branch Call Number: FICTION Jaswal, Balli Kaur
Characteristics: 298 pages ; 24 cm


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Apr 24, 2019

CWIP 2019 longlist

Apr 09, 2019

Well written and lovely, but probably too graphic for Book Club.

Mar 31, 2019

This is on my for later list because skygiants on dreamwidth says "a British-Indian twentysomething seeking Fulfilling Employment signs up to teach what she thinks will be a creative writing class and what her middle-aged-to-elderly Punjabi immigrant students think will be an ESL class, which through a series of coincidences eventually morphs into an enthusiastic weekly porn-writing group.
And indeed this premise is charming, and the developing relationships between Our Very Young Very Feminist Heroine and her various students with very different experiences are interestingly drawn, and the widows' newfound enthusiasm for crafting smutty fanfiction is adorable! I did not expect there to also be a murder plot, a romance plot, and a coming-to-terms-with-your-sister's-different-life-choices plot but all these things are also happening. There is quite a lot of plot in this book, all of which somehow gets resolved through the transformative power of porn and Women Being Empowered To Ask For What They Want Out Of Sex And Relationships. Yes, even the murder plot.
There is a certain kind of literary fiction about the Transformative Power of Literature that often walks a fine line between being genuinely heartwarming and being a bit self-congratulatory, and Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows does indeed also walk that line and YMMV on where it falls. I will not say my heart was not warmed but I did also sometimes find myself squinting at the book going, "really, every problem was resolved by the Transformative Power of Smut? Like, every one?" EVERY ONE."

_McGeek_ Mar 14, 2019

This book has lots going on, being funny and a bit of a thriller/mystery kept it entertaining while learning about traditional Punjabi beliefs, traditions and lifestyle made it really interesting. I agree it was fast paced but I also think it's rare when people say a book could've been longer!
I'd recommend this book if you're looking for a fun, quick, entertaining read for sure!

JCLHelenH Feb 15, 2019

There was so much to like here; culture, identity, generational differences. But also a fair bit of meh. I would have found the Punjabi women's reactions more believable over a longer time frame. Overall, entertaining and interesting with an interesting twist.

Jan 27, 2019

I found the first 1/3 fairly slow and I wasn't too into it, but the rest of the book was more interesting with the mystery and excitement of it all.

Dec 10, 2018

this was a different read from what I usually read but I ended up enjoying it. it was a good enjoyable read.

KCLSQueennie Oct 19, 2018

This book is BRILLIANT. The author magically weaves issues of race, culture, identity, and generational differences, even adding a mystery in its pages (and great saucy bits) in this evocative novel. If this is a book club choice, I can imagine hours and hours of going through this its pages and feeling as if one has just scratched the surface.

Oct 08, 2018

What a fantastic read - funny, cryptic, and oh so well... ummm. I loved reading this book. Held my interest and was finished before i knew it.

Aug 14, 2018

Nikki grew up in a traditional Indian home to immigrant parents in London. She's typecasted as a "modern" girl because she had dropped out of college, moved out of her family home to live in a flat alone (and unmarried *gasp*), smokes cigarettes and works in a pub. She stumbles upon a listing at the Southall temple, looking for someone to teach a creative writing class to Punjabi widows. She's hired by Kulwinder, a strict Indian woman, whose daughter Maya, also considered a modern girl, had recently died. To Nikki's surprise, the widows decide to compose and share erotic stories in secret. Nikki learns about these women's arranged marriages as they discuss taboo subjects and their Punjabi community secrets, like Maya's death, are slowly revealed.

I thought this was a delightful read! I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about the Punjabi culture. The writing was witty, funny and surprisingly serious as topics like immigration and honour killings were integrated into the story. It was a little slow at the start, but once I was about halfway through, I couldn't put the book down; the ending even had me a little emotional. Would definetly recommend!

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