Genres: Contemporary Fiction
Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows has definitely made it to my list of favorite contemporaries!
This book tells the story of Nikki, a daughter of Indian immigrants who has very Western thoughts and behavior, which very often clashes with her family’s traditional ways. She works at a bar and, at twenty-something, she doesn’t know yet what to do with her life. She decides to give English story-telling classes for Punjabi widows – which turns into a moment of sharing erotic stories from the widows’ fantasies. This unpredictable turn of events makes Nikki realize there is much memory, fantasy, desire and a strong community sense among those widows.
It’s difficult to really come up with a plot for this book to describe in one paragraph! There is more going on than I described above, it’s not just erotic stories (although there are quite a few! And the narrator, should you go for an audiobook, tells those stories in a very sensual voice). This is a powerful book, and it also tells of the strength in community, the violence in society, the invisibility of being a widow in such society, fear, love, sex, friendship, the clash of cultures. There is also mystery and crime – this is a pretty well-rounded book, I must say!
Reading this felt fresh, hilarious, heartbreaking. I loved how empowering it was to listen to the fantasies of those women, how honest they were about them, how natural those feelings were. These women were strong and fierce and so full of dreams, I loved getting to know their stories.
I highly recommend this book!