You need to read this Punjabi-Singaporean’s books if you haven’t already

Balli Kaur Jaswal is a reputed author who has penned four stand-alone books. Her third book, “Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows” that was published by Harper Collins caught the masses eyes and became a worldwide bestseller. Her sharp wordplay mixed with interesting storylines that have not been told before makes her books a delight to read.

Balli Kaur Jaswal is a Singaporean novelist whose family comes from Punjab, India. She has lived in various countries like Japan, Russia, the Philippines, Australia, England and the US. Her multi-cultural background gives a unique flavour to her stories as she writes about the places, she had travelled to or lived in herself. So, when reading her stories, the reader finds themselves walking around the by-lines of the old Singapore or figuring out the route to London’s Southall with a sense of familiarity.

On first glance, her works look like any other contemporary stand-alone book. But, when you would actually sit down to read you realise how effortlessly heavy subjects like treatment of people with mental health issues, racism, prejudices, honour killings, and much more are dealt with in the books. There is an effortless wit in her writing that makes the readers think about the subject in question, without it being heavy or preachy. 

Books you need to pick up!

Here is a list of the books written by Balli Kaur Jaswal in the order that they were published and a brief synopsis of the storyline.

Inheritance

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Inheritance is a story of a family that moved to Singapore during the era of colonization and stayed on once the war ended and the British left. Set amidst the changing skyline of Singapore, the story focuses on the family struggling to maintain a sense of control as their teenage daughter keeps running away. This is a story of the struggle of Ideas, generations, and identity. 

Sugerbread

Pin has been told that she must not become like her mother. She struggles to understand why this is so just as she struggles to understand why her classmates and bus uncle treat her differently. Family secrets start tumbling out when Pin’s grandmother moves in. A coming of age story of a young girl trying to understand her place in the world.

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows

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A struggling writer, Nikki, takes up a job where she believes she would be conducting a creative writing workshop but quickly learns her job is to teach the alphabet to the Punjabi widows of Southall, London. The classes soon take on a different turn when the widows start telling each other erotic stories. As the classes go on, Nikki learns more about the women and finds out things about her community that she would rather not know.

The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters

Three sisters, who were born and raised in London, find themselves unwillingly travelling across north India with each other to fulfil their late mother’s last wish. As the sisters travel to all the places that their mother used to talk about when they were children, they start reminiscing about the old times, and it is not always pleasant. As the journey progresses, the sisters start getting to know the people that they truly are, while overcoming the common loss of their mother. 

Fresh and funny with a hint of mystery- that’s Balli Kaul Jaswal’s writing style. She is one of the very few writers who can write stories with mature content that are relevant and thought-provoking. Have you read her books yet?

 

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About Dhwani Swadia 6 Articles
Dhwani is currently a freelance content writer and editor. She usually writes on Feminism, Animal Rights, Books, Food, and Travel. She is usually found with a book in her hand. When she is not reading, she can be found petting animals or planning her next travel.

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