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HarperCollins presents The Bandit Queens by Parini Shroff
New Delhi, March 25, 2023 (ANI/PRNewswire): "A radically feel-good story about the murder of no-good husbands by a cast of unsinkable women."--THE NEW YORK TIMES.
Longlisted for the prestigious Women's Prize for Fiction, Parini Shroff's The Bandit Queens is a razor-sharp debut of humor and heart that readers won't soon forget. Paperback | 352 pp | Rs 499
Available wherever books are sold | Releasing 10th April 2023
Five years ago, Geeta lost her no-good husband.
As in, she lost him--he walked out on her and she has no idea where he is. But in her remote village in India, rumor has it that Geeta killed him. And it's a rumor that just won't die.
As it happens, being known as a 'self-made' widow comes with some perks. No one messes with Geeta, harasses her, or tries to control (ahem, marry) her. It's even been good for business: no one dares to not buy her jewelry.
Freedom must look good on Geeta, because now other women are asking for her 'expertise' making her an unwitting consultant for husband disposal. And not all of them are asking nicely.
What happens next sets in motion a chain of events that will change everything, not just for Geeta but for all the women in the village.
Filled with clever criminals, second chances, and wry and witty women, Parini Shroff's The Bandit Queens is a razor-sharp debut of humor and heart that readers won't soon forget.
Author, Parini Shroff, says, "The Bandit Queens began ten years ago as a short story about women in a microloan group and the power of money. When I wrote it as a novel during the pandemic, it blossomed into a dark comedy about wickedly funny, sharp and clever women making their own choices in a world trying to snatch those choices. Once the ensemble cast of female characters had been drawn, there was no stopping these rambunctious women. Isolated, they felt powerless; but together, the strong bonds of their female friendship made the impossible suddenly achievable. It was then that I realized the heart of this book isn't about what money can do, it's about what friendship can. I grew to love and admire these sassy, fierce women and their escalating antics, and it is my hope readers will as well."
Associate Publisher, Rahul Soni, says, "Parini Shroff's The Bandit Queens is a dark, funny, sharp, wicked debut that deals with many weighty themes with a light but sure hand. It's a book that I've been supremely excited about ever since I read the early draft and one that I've chased a long time to be able to publish. I'm so glad that we're bringing it out in India, where I know it will resonate with and delight many, many readers. The longlisting for the Women's Prize for Fiction will be just the first of many richly deserved accolades coming Parini's way, I'm sure!"
About the Author
Parini Shroff received her MFA from the University of Texas at Austin, where she studied under Elizabeth McCracken, Alexander Chee, and Cristina Garcia. She is a practicing attorney and currently lives in the Bay Area. The Bandit Queens is her debut novel.
Praise for the book
"With acuity, wit, and a certain kind of magic irreverence, Parini Shroff captures the complexity of female friendship, turning on a dime from humor to horror, horror to heart, and then back again, exhilarating her reader until the very last line. Tender, unpredictable, and brimming with laugh-out-loud moments, The Bandit Queens heralds a prodigious and sophisticated literary talent."
--Tea Obreht, bestselling author of The Tiger's Wife and Inland
"Not since Aravind Adiga's The White Tiger has the rotten core of modern India been exposed in quite such blackly antic fashion as Parini Shroff manages here in this intermittently absurd, feminist revenge caper about a group of snarky, much-abused, predominantly Hindu wives...sheer gutsy verve."
"The Bandit Queens is an original, memorable, and endearing story, at times deeply serious, then laugh-out-loud funny. Parini Shroff has written a sobering but hopeful exploration of womanhood, social injustices, and second chances."
--Charmaine Wilkerson, author of Black Cake
"Parini Shroff's splendid The Bandit Queens is a hilarious romp about serious things--as serious as a novel gets, and as funny, too, with characters who are dear and maddening and indelible and gorgeously drawn. Twisty, compulsive, bold, surprising, moving, it's a wonderful book."
--Elizabeth McCracken, author of The Souvenir Museum and The Hero of This Book
"Parini Shroff's debut novel is a rollicking mash-up of adventure story, thriller, dark revenge, and comedy. Rooted in a rural village in India--and led by the pariah widow Geeta, whom everyone believes to have killed her husband--this is an immensely enjoyable read about a handful of women who band together to take back their lives, and take down the patriarchy."
--Cristina Garcia, author of Dreaming in Cuban and The Lady Matador's Hotel
"A radically feel-good story about the murder of no-good husbands by a cast of unsinkable women...A tale that demonstrates how the antidote to bleak circumstances is female friendship."
--The New York Times
"Shroff cleverly considers how women might achieve autonomy within rural India's patriarchal society through shrewd, if complicated, female friendships."
--The Washington Post
"This debut has captured our hearts with its wit and tenderness, and it's an unforgettable story about a 'self-made' widow who gets requests from other wives to help them also get rid of their no-good husbands. Twisty and bold with a dark edge, The Bandit Queens is one we don't think we'll ever stop talking about!"
--Barnes & Noble Book Club
"Shroff's debut is a darkly hilarious take on gossip, caste, truth, village life, and the patriarchy...clever, subversive storytelling."
--Booklist, Starred Review
"This funny, feel-good read is a rollicking ride rife with memorable characters involved in ill-fated hijinks. It also serves up commentary on class, power dynamics and the role of women in society, with a feminist history lesson to boot."
"Laugh-out-loud...This is a deeply human book, with women surviving and overcoming in their culture while still remaining a part of it."
--Library Journal, Starred Review
"In Shroff's acerbic debut, a woman helps other women escape their abusive marriages in their small village in India, often through murder...Readers are in for a razor-stuffed treat."
HarperCollins India publishes some of the finest writers from the Indian Subcontinent and around the world, publishing approximately 200 new books every year, with a print and digital catalogue of more than 2,000 titles across 10 imprints. Its authors have won almost every major literary award including the Man Booker Prize, JCB Prize, DSC Prize, New India Foundation Award, Atta Galatta Prize, Shakti Bhatt Prize, Gourmand Cookbook Award, Publishing Next Award, Tata Literature Live! Award, Gaja Capital Business Book Prize, BICW Award, Sushila Devi Award, Sahitya Akademi Award and Crossword Book Award. HarperCollins India also represents some of the finest publishers in the world including Harvard University Press, Gallup Press, Oneworld, Bonnier Zaffre, Usborne, Dover and Lonely Planet.
HarperCollins India is now the recipient of five Publisher of the Year Awards - In 2021 and 2015 at the Publishing Next Industry Awards, and in 2021, 2018 and 2016 at Tata Literature Live. HarperCollins India is a subsidiary of HarperCollins Publishers.
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