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Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  67,029 ratings  ·  7,375 reviews
A lively, sexy, and thought-provoking East-meets-West story about community, friendship, and women’s lives at all ages—a spicy and alluring mix of Together Tea and Calendar Girls.

Every woman has a secret life . . .

Nikki lives in cosmopolitan West London, where she tends bar at the local pub. The daughter of Indian immigrants, she’s spent most of her twenty-odd years distan
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published June 13th 2017 by William Morrow (first published March 9th 2017)
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Sonia This is what it says on the author's website:
Film rights to Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows have been acquired by Scott Free Productions and Film Fo…more
This is what it says on the author's website:
Film rights to Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows have been acquired by Scott Free Productions and Film Four in the UK. (less)

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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  67,029 ratings  ·  7,375 reviews

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This novel is a real revelation of the immigrant experience and community set in Southall, London. Nikki is a independent woman, law school dropout, protester, caught between the traditional values of her punjabi home and her more natural inclination to adhere to the more modern feminist agenda. She is living above a pub on a peppercorn rent where she works as bartender. She is skint, pondering her future, and against all her natural instincts, goes to a Southall temple to post a flyer about her ...more
Rating 4.5

Oh my! This one was completely unexpected. The title....I thought, surely it does not contain erotic stories. But it did...and I listened to this one via audio! Thankfully, I was home alone cleaning while I listened. I so enjoy reading anything about India and Indian culture and when I saw this one, I knew I had to read it.

Nikki is a young, modern Punjabi Indian girl living in London. Her parents, immigrants, want the best for her. Her father wanted her to be a lawyer and go to law sch
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
You will never look at ghee the same way again!

The title hooked me, but it’s the story of the inner lives of these widows, all in perpetual mourning, that completely beguiled. What is advertised as a literacy class for women becomes an exploration of sexual experiences and desires and the author does a wonderful job of weaving their erotic stories into the narrative. At times rather amusing--the women’s use of produce to describe anatomy for instance--it is also touching and thought-provokin
Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal is a 2017 William Morrow publication.

A bold, unforgettable story!

No, the title is not misleading. This book does contain erotic stories. But, trust me, this story has much more depth and importance than the title might suggest.

Nikki lives in London, is a modern girl, rebelling against her traditional Punjabi upbringing, which brings sorrow to her family who had such high hopes for her. However, until she finds her true calling, she is li
Elyse  Walters
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Love, sex, intimacy, and community.
What’s not to like?
How about oppression- or violence against women?

Punjabi widows didn’t like being thought of as chopped liver. Could you blame them?

Lots of fun, laughter & sexy steam...
but it’s also a kaleidoscope of deeper themes to explore...
....a hidden culture and religious traditions ....
....secrets kept & why..., (older illiterate women),
....arrange marriages,... and why would modern women choose it today?
....a single Punjabi widow and t
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

First let me take a moment to say that I carried this around for TWO DAYS at work and not one person asked me what I was reading. I can’t get in the stinking elevator or make a cup of coffee any other day without someone asking that question, but when I’m sitting on a goldmine of awkward title????? Nope . . . .

I don’t know how I planted the idea in my own head that this was going to be like The Joy Luck Club, but I sure enough tho
J.L.   Sutton
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Balli Kaur Jaswal’s Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows is a fun and engaging read! Even though this is fiction, it initially reminded me of Azar Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books. While the Iranian setting seems far distant from the London setting of Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows, stories are the basis of community formation in both. Both too feature women who have to be careful of surveillance while breaking taboos and embracing freedom. They also feature stories within th ...more
Megan Johnson
This is the second book from "Reese's Book Club" that I've picked up, and the second that I was expecting to be blown away by. Unfortunately, this one fell a bit short to me. The premise sounded amazing and liberating and everything you want when reading a take on a culture that's less familiar to you. Instead, this felt forced and cliche and so predictable that I caught myself wondering if I should even bother finishing it.

That being said, it was an enjoyable enough read. It was different from
Carol (Bookaria)
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2017
The story revolves mainly around Nikki, a first-generation Punjabi, born and raised in England. She's a law-school dropout trying to earn some extra money by signing up to teach creative-writing classes at the Sikh temple. What she doesn't know is that the students she gets are mostly illiterate Punjabi widows looking to kill the boredom and routine by engaging in lively, oral, sexy storytelling... And this is where the fun begins.

Of course, that's not all that there is to the story, it also d
Pri Srinivasa

wow this book was revolutionary. ever questioned why aunties judged us but havent come to terms with our own judgement of aunties? assumed they were sexless? assumed that they were frustrated? tried to diagnose them? the author in this book handed me a god damn mirror and made me think about honor, sex, judgement, and being indian. i could not put the book down- i read it in 1 day. the story is about a desi girl named nikki who dropped
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: indian-authors
This book got super lucky getting picked for Reese Witherspoon's book club in March, and I think the credit goes to that eye catching title and well done blurb that piques your interest enough to pick it up and give it a try.
For me, there was extra appeal being punjabi myself n all.

BUT had it not been for the giant push that Witherspoon's bookclub gives it, with all those Instagram posts and stories (and possibly similar promotions on other social media channels) - I don't think this book woul
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Admit it: that title caught your eye, didn’t it? If you’re one of those people who “doesn’t read romance,” let me quickly say before you tune out that this book has so much going on beyond the steamy stuff. There are generational clashes, sisterly complications, challenges to gender roles, and even an unsolved crime. This is one of those books that is hard to categorize because it does so many things (and does them all really well).

(Also, if you don’t read romance, why do you hate fun?)

Nikki i
Apr 12, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: erotica
"His throbbing organ was the color and size of an aubergine and as she gripped it with her hands and guided it to her mouth he became so excited that his knees began to shake."

I'll start as I mean to go on here. That is the kind of erotic stories that the punjabi widows in this book create. I'll say, that I was in a rather busy staff room when I read that part, and I think it caused my coffee to go down the wrong pipe.
This story is about an adult literary class that rather quickly turns into an
Cathrine ☯️
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Cathrine ☯️ by: Jennifer
4 🍆🍆🍆🍆 s
Culture, mystery, family expectations, and community among women providing acceptance and support to one another in an adopted country offering them the most important thing—choice. The author “wanted to write about this place, and to explore the idea of women defying expectations and rewriting their own narratives.” Success!
All this with healthy servings of vegetables which health organizations tell us should be a minimum of 3 per day. “There’s a blurry line between imagination and real
Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
Dec 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Quite an unexpected good story, this story portrays the real picture of how women in general are expected to keep mum and within the socially acceptable limits with they say and what they do.

The plot gives you a taste of a murder mystery, the dilemma widows and stay-at-home women in a reserved community face, infidelity and relationship woes, a subtle romance, a protagonist who chooses a different path from the rest, and yes, like the title depicts, forbidden stories to be told.

I love the writ
Katie B
4.5 stars

Well, the book title certainly grabs your attention, doesn't it? Now don't be fooled into thinking this is going to be some trashy novel, as there truly is some humor and heart to the story. But yes, the title is also accurate as it is part of the plot. It's definitely not the whole plot though as the author explores many other subjects that have nothing to do with bedroom activities. I never felt like the story delved into poor taste as somehow the raunchy parts work well. And to be ho
Nov 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio

This audio book was definitely outside of my normal wheel well of mysteries. Nikki is a young Punjabi woman trying to find a job that is more interesting than tending bar after she quits law school. So, she takes a job at a Sikh center to teach women creative writing. The job doesn’t turn out the way she expects, as none of the women can read or write. Through one of those quirks so common in women’s fiction, the women find an erotic story book and start telling similar stories. I found the whol
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great story with many themes. It is set around the Sikh community of Southall, London. It addresses the difficulties for young British Sikhs, born and raised here and developing different values to their Indian born parents. It covers levels of illiteracy within the Sikh community, the gossip,lack of privacy and repressive quality within, but also the incredible support network that it can be. We get to think about the pros and cons of arranged marriages. There is a darker undertone t ...more
Nov 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
I loved this novel. Here on a snowy Saturday morning in Quebec, I felt myself instantly immersed into a universal story of strong female protagonists who no matter their age want to belong to their community and to be loved. Although Miss Modern aka Nikki took a bit of warming up before I really enjoyed her bits, it was enough to also meet all the tremendous people that Nikki encounters, especially, in her writing group.
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
I loved, loved, LOVED this book and am now furiously recommending it to everyone as the best summer read of 2017. Set in the Punjabi enclave of Southall in London, it takes a careful and entertaining look at the many issues faced by women living in that community.

Nikki is a young British-Punjabi woman who isn’t quite sure what to do with her life. She dropped out of her law degree to her parents’ horror, and then made the highly controversial decision to leave the family home to live alone abov
“His throbbing organ was the color and size of an aubergine and as she gripped it with her hands and guided it to her mouth he became so excited that his knees began to shake...” Nikki gasped and dropped the pages on the desk. The women were laughing loudly now and their voices had begun to echo down the corridor.
“What's the matter?”
“This is not the type of story I had in mind.”
Oh yeah - this book is full of dirty old women. Actually...back up and let me take the "dirty" out of th
I gave up on this one at page 100. Maybe it just wasn’t what I expected… I thought the Punjabi widows would tell stories more about their own personal relationships rather than pure fictional sexual fantasies. I was interested in the Punjabi lifestyle in London and how women there deal with the clash of East vs Western cultures, but I just found the overall story boring and I wasn’t really interested enough in the characters to find out what happened to Kulwinder’s daughter or care much about Ni ...more
This novel transports the reader from wherever they are reading to Southall and it's Punjabi population. One can smell the spices and look at the colourful saris and fabrics in stalls and bazaars. While at the same time, one can look at the dichotomous us vs them paradigm that plagued humanity since the beginning of time.

Where people who are similar are friends or feel safe, while the other who is different is a sort of an enemy or a nuisance at least.

The narrator Nikki, a London born and bree
Mar 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well, then!

I hadn't heard of this book until Reese Witherspoon named it as her book club choice for the month. Intrigued, I decided to give it a try.

There are a few overlapping storylines, but the primary premise involves Nikki a 22-year old first-generation Punjabi woman living in London who has dropped out of law school and doesn't quite know what she wants to do with her life. One day at her Shik temple, she sees an advertisement for a creative writing teaching position. She's hired for the j
Elsa Rajan Pradhananga
More like Erotic Stories by Punjabi Widows. There are 7 of those printed in in italics. But the book is a lot more than what the title suggests. The novel is set in Southall, London where migrant Punjabi families sort of ghettoize themselves. Nostalgia doesn't allow them to let go of their traditions be it good or bad and they seek each other's validation and live in fear of being sidelined.

There's a love story, a murder mystery and cultural elements like the arranged marriages, stigma attached
Andi (A Literal Hottie)
I’m not sure I understand why Reese Witherspoon chose this one for her book club. Maybe for diversity? It’s pretty much just mediocre chick-lit and I wouldn’t recommend it. The reader was very nice to listen to and that’s the only reason I finished it because honestly I didn’t care about Nikki or the murder mystery. The erotic stories were ok nothing shocking or offensive, I just don’t know why I would want to read or in this case listen to them. Then again I’m one of those who thought 50 Shades ...more
Aug 11, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a charming story about a young woman from a Sikh family in London who is hired to teach an English writing class but ends up helping a group of Punjabi widows write erotic stories. I really wanted to like it more since it did a lot of things I like books to do-- it taught me about another culture, it made me think, it addressed feminism in an interesting and compelling way-- but I didn't love the writing and I just never really settled into the story. Liked but didn't love. ...more
Meredith B.  (readingwithmere)
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 Stars!

You know when you pick up a book because it was a suggestion by a celebrity and you're not really sure what to expect? This was the case for me with this book. I picked it up because Reese Witherspoon's book club pick was Erotic Stores for Punjabi Widows for the month of March. When I read the synopsis I thought hmm this will be different. And it a good way!

This story is about a lot of different kinds of Punjabi women trying to find their way. It's set in London but also referen
Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows

Buckle up, kiddos! This is a window into the minds of women BEYOND a certain age, and it is hilariously spot on, regardless of culture. However, a nod to the specificities of issues that arise in translation (or lack of translation options) as it relates to Punjabi. I was laughing out loud as I drove through the streets yesterday. More than one motorist thought I was crazy-mad in traffic. I wasn’t. . .I was tickled. About 1/3 of the way through, tho, I began to w
K.J. Charles
A terrifically fun read. Nikki is a British Sikh, a modern feminist university dropout, who is recruited to teach a literacy class for women (the Punjabi widows of the title). It turns hilariously into an erotica-writing collective. We get a romance, a variety of women's stories, a glorious lot of female friendship across ages and cultures, and some darker strands to do with male oppression and "honour" violence in the community.

I felt the murder plot was a bit on the thin side, and perhaps the
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Balli Kaur Jaswal's latest novel is The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters (Harper Collins/William Morrow). Her previous novels include Inheritance, which won the Sydney Morning Herald’s Best Young Australian Novelist Award, and Sugarbread, a finalist for the Epigram Books Fiction Prize and the Singapore Literature Prize. Her third novel Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows was translated in ...more

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