Roses, in the Mouth of a Lion: A Novel by Bushra Rehman


In the vein of On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, an unforgettable story about female friendship and queer love in a Muslim-American community.

In stock (can be backordered)

SKU: 9781250834782 Categories: , , , , ,


Our Bookseller Says:

“Razia is patchwork of so many unrealized wants and as many vocalized expectations. In 1980s Queens, change in her neighborhood, among her community, between old customs and her increasingly “Americanized” classmates and friends, stretching her adolescent understanding over and over as she tries to figure out who she is and who she wants to be.

Roses, in the Mouth of a Lion concerns itself less with plot than it does with life, character-driven tension steeped in gossip, family, faith and community pushing the narrative forward until the threads unravel and Razia must decide where to begin her own stitches.”


Razia Mirza grows up amid the wild grape vines and backyard sunflowers of Corona, Queens, with her best friend, Saima, by her side. When a family rift drives the girls apart, Razia’s heart is broken. She finds solace in Taslima, a new girl in her close-knit Pakistani-American community. They embark on a series of small rebellions: listening to scandalous music, wearing mini skirts, and cutting school to explore the city.

When Razia is accepted to Stuyvesant, a prestigious high school in Manhattan, the gulf between the person she is and the daughter her parents want her to be, widens. At Stuyvesant, Razia meets Angela and is attracted to her in a way that blossoms into a new understanding. When their relationship is discovered by an Aunty in the community, Razia must choose between her family and her own future.

Punctuated by both joy and loss, full of ’80s music and beloved novels, Roses, in the Mouth of a Lion is a new classic: a fiercely compassionate coming-of-age story of a girl struggling to reconcile her heritage and faith with her desire to be true to herself.

Roses, in the Mouth of a Lion: A Novel by Bushra Rehman