In the same vein as Balli’s previous novels, NOW YOU SEE US takes a darkly humorous approach towards addressing the challenges of marginalised women, and the issues surrounding foreign domestic workers within their own diaspora community. Centring on a mystery, NOW YOU SEE US dives into the characters’ lives as mothers, daughters, lovers, and friends, revealing their rich and diverse lives, their hidden pain and their dreams. It is THE HELP meets CRAZY RICH ASIANS, with an emotional punch. Balli’s book EROTIC STORIES FOR PUNJABI WIDOWS is being developed a feature by Film4 and THE SHERGILL SISTERS is with Muse TV.
A veteran domestic worker, Cora returned to the Philippines several years ago to help to raise her teenage nephew, but the novel opens with her back in Singapore under mysterious circumstances. She’s keeping a secret from her wealthy employer, the recently widowed Elizabeth Lee, and needs to keep a low profile.
Working as an in-home caretaker for an elderly stroke patient, Angel lives a fulfilling life in Singapore where she has a strong community of friends and a job where she feels valued. However, a recent break-up with a woman has left her feeling lonely in ways that her family cannot accept or understand.
Donita is a fresh domestic worker employed by the difficult-to-please Mrs. Tan. She’s arrived with hopes for a better life and struggles to accept the reality of her new position.
The three women are friends who meet on their day off, sometimes to offload horror job stories, but more often to share their hopes and aspirations, to talk and to listen. But when Florediza, another Filipina domestic worker is accused of murder, the three friends find themselves roped into a rogue investigation, despite their best efforts to avoid trouble.
Balli Kaur Jaswal is the author of five novels, including EROTIC STORIES FOR PUNJABI WIDOWS which was a Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club pick in 2018. Born in Singapore and raised in Japan, Russia and the Philippines, Jaswal studied creative writing in the United States and worked as an English teacher in Australia and Turkey. She has held fellowships at the University of East Anglia and Nanyang Technological University, where she also completed her PhD in South Asian diaspora writing. Jaswal’s non-fiction has appeared in the New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar India, Refinery29 and Salon.com, among other publications. Balli is represented by Anna Power at Johnson and Alcock, and NOW YOU SEE US will be published in UK and US by HarperFiction and William Morrow in 2023.