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The Bandit Queens: Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2023

The Bandit Queens: Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2023 by Parini Shroff

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  • Women's Prize for Fiction 2023 Longlist

By Parini Shroff

avg rating

3 reviews

Longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2023

A BBC Radio 2 Book Club Pick 2023

‘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 Times

‘A darkly funny revenge drama rooted in the reality of rural India . . . [A] vivid, unsentimental story that succeeds in being both satirical and moving.’ Guardian

‘A radically feel-good story about the murder of no-good husbands by a cast of unsinkable women’ – New York Times

‘Mordantly humoured, pacey feminist revenge thriller’ – The Sunday Times

For Geeta, life as a widow is more peaceful than life as a wife…

Until the other women in her village decide they want to be widows, too.

Geeta is believed to have killed her vanished husband – a rumour she hasn’t bothered trying to correct, because a reputation like that can keep a single woman safe in rural India. But when she’s approached for help in ridding another wife of her abusive drunk of a husband, her reluctant agreement sets in motion a chain of events that will change the lives of all the women in the village….

A darkly irreverent and fresh take on a feminist revenge thriller, perfect for readers of My Sister the Serial Killer, How To Kidnap The Rich and the Sharon Horgan series Bad Sisters.

‘Tender, unpredictable, brimming with laugh-out-loud moments’ Téa Obreht, author of THE TIGER’S WIFE

‘Original, memorable, and endearing’ Charmaine Wilkerson, author of BLACK CAKE

‘A rollicking mash-up of adventure story, thriller, dark revenge, and comedy’ Cristina García, author of DREAMING IN CUBAN


04 Jul 2023


This was such a vivid, well written and entertaining read! A cast of interesting and varied characters, a real sense of place and a story that kept you wondering what would happen next. The themes may be dark and the detail sometimes gritty but there is always enough humour and humanity to carry you through. I loved it! Thank you once again for supplying the copies for our book group to read and review, we are very grateful.
Victoria Ryrie, Hunstanworth Village Hall Book Group

16 Jun 2023


What a wild and whacky ride! It's very funny and also raises a lot of serious issues about life in rural India, especially for women, which makes it also very sad. Overall though, if you just roll with it, it's a fun and enlightening read with absolutely loads for a book group to discuss.

30 Mar 2023


My reading group , the Plough , Greetham really enjoyed this novel The Bandit Queens is a great read .. we all enjoyed it, though one member said it felt wrong discussing and the moral ambiguity of the book.. we were rooting for women who wanted their husbands dead. There was a line saying that as older women they were invisible no one would suspect them . Reading about the village, the mixture of religions, Hindi and Muslims , getting to grip with the caste system, getting our heads around the Indian names, on and on did challenge us but we all loved the story. Another member found the story extremely well written and couldn't wait to see what happened next, couldn't put the book down , we all felt that if it wasn't for the humour in the writing the story would have been unbearable .Highly recommendable .

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