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Balli Kaur Jaswal Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Sugarbread (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Inheritance (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Now You See Us (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

The Best Australian Stories 2015(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
One World Two(2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Best New Singaporean Short Stories: Volume Four(2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Volume 5(2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Best Singaporean Short Stories 1(2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
What We Inherit(2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Balli Kaur Jaswal
Balli Kaur Jaswal is a Singaporean novelist, having family roots in Punjab region. She was born in Singapore and grew up living in countries like Russia, Japan, Australia, the Philippines, and the US.

“Inheritance” won the Sydney Morning Herald’s Best Young Australian Novelist Award in 2014, and was adapted into a film at the Singapore International Festival of the Arts in 2017. “Sugarbread” was a finalist for the 2015 Epigram Books Fiction Prize.

Balli’s books have been translated into fifteen languages. Her non fiction and short fiction writing has appeared in the UK Sunday Express, The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, Harpers Bazaar, Cosmopolitan Magazine, and Best Australian Short Stories, among other periodicals and publications.

Balli has also traveled extensively to appear in international writers’ festivals in order to conduct lectures and workshops on pursuing an artistic career, creative writing, the power of storytelling, and global citizenship and social justice advocacy through literature.

As a former writing fellow at the University of East Anglia, she has taught creative writing at Yale-NUS College and Nanyang Technological University, where she finished her PhD in South Asian diaspora writing.

“Inheritance” is the first stand alone novel and was released in 2016. “Inheritance” is a coming of age story of a nation, seen through the sharp lens of a traditional Punjabi family while it gradually unravels.

Set in Singapore between the 1970s and 1990s, this follows the familial fissures which develop after teen Amrit vanishes in the middle of the night. Even though her absence is short, she comes back as a different person.

Over the course of two decades, while Singapore’s social, cultural, and political landscapes continue to change, the family’s efforts to cope with the shifts, those that come from within and those which come from outside, lead to some pretty disastrous consequences. With the traditional expectations of their country on the one hand, and their own volition on the other, Amrit’s family have to avoid imploding. How do we confront our own legacies, and, once necessary, how do we accept change? This novel is a universal story about belonging, family, and identity.

“Sugarbread” is the second stand alone novel and was released in 2016. Pin cannot become like her mom, however no one will tell her why. She looks for clues in Ma’s cooking while she’s not busy fighting other battles, like facing racial taunts from the bus uncle and being a bursary girl at an elite school.

Then her meddlesome grandma moves in, installing a portrait of a watchful Sikh guru and a new set of house rules. Some old secrets start surfacing however can Pin actually handle learning the truth?

“Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows” is the third stand alone novel and was released in 2017. A sexy, lively, and thought provoking East-meets-West story that is about friendship, community, and women’s lives at all ages.

Every woman has this secret life. Nikki lives in cosmopolitan West London, where she works at a local pub as a bartender. She is the daughter of Indian immigrants and has spent much of her twenty-odd years distancing herself from the traditional Sikh community from her childhood, preferring instead a more independent (that is, Western) life. When her dad’s death leaves the family financially strapped, Nikki, who is a law school dropout, impulsively takes a job teaching a “creative writing” course at the community center in the beating heart of London’s close knit Punjabi community.

The proper Sikh widows, due to a miscommunication, show up expecting to learn basic English literacy, and not the art of short story writing. When a widow discovers a book of sexy stories English and then shares it with the class, Nikki realizes that underneath their white dupattas, her students have this wealth of memories and fantasies. Eager to liberate these modest women, she teaches them how to better express their untold stories, which unleashes creativity of the most unexpected, as well as exciting, sort.

Nikki, while more women are drawn to this class, warns her students to keep their work secret from the Brotherhood, this group of highly conservative young guys that have appointed themselves the “moral police” of the community. However once the widows’ gossip offers some shocking insights into the death of one young wife, who is a modern woman like Nikki, and some of the class erotica gets shared among friends, it sparks off this scandal which threatens all of them.

Readers loved this novel, because it’s so big hearted, funny, and earthy. Balli tells a rattlingly good story with this Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick that is an alluring and spicy mix of “Calendar Girls” and “Together Tea”.

“The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters” is the fourth stand alone novel and was released in 2019. Filled with laugh out loud humor and warmth.

Shirina, Rajni, and Jezmeen, British born Punjabi sisters, haven’t ever been close, however when their mom died, she just had a single request: that they take a pilgrimage across India in order to carry out her final rites. While an extended family holiday is the very last thing any of them wants, each one of the sisters has got her own reasons to run away from her life.

Rajni is your typical know it all oldest sibling, however her son just dropped quite the devastating bombshell just before she left, and for the very first time she is unaware of what the future holds.

Jezmeen, the middle child, was always a loudmouth, translating her need for attention into a life as a struggling actress. However her career is now on the skids after this incident went viral, and she is now desperate to find her voice again.

Shirina has always been the golden child that confounded expectations by having an arranged marriage before moving to the other side of the world. However her perfect life is not all that it appears to be, and time’s running out to make the right choice.

While the miles rack up on their jaunt across all of India, the secrets of the present and past are certain to spill out.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Balli Kaur Jaswal

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