Review: Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows, Balli Kaur Jaswal

In this brilliantly-observed novel, the main character reminds me very much of her home city of London; Nikki embodies its complex blend of cultures, its tradition and modernity, conformity and subversion, warmth and conflict.

When Nikki volunteers to run a writing class at a local gurdwara, she becomes our guide to Southall, where we meet a group of barely-literate women who quickly reveal a shared passion and talent for story-telling. Their tales are both erotic and risky, given the social tensions at play within their Sikh Punjabi community.

The novel is packed full of lifelike characters who are drawn with warm-hearted (and sometimes wicked) wit. By turns touching and saucy, with a suspense to raise the stakes, Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows is a layered and satisfying read.

But I may never feel the same way about ghee.


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