Spotlight on “The Lion Women of Tehran” by Marjan Kamali

by LitStack Editor

The Lion Women of Tehran is a heartfelt, epic novel of friendship, betrayal, and redemption set against three transformative decades in Tehran, Iran.

The Lion Women of Tehran and author Marjan Kamali

About The Lion Women of Tehran

In 1950s Tehran, seven-year-old Ellie lives in grand comfort until the untimely death of her father, forcing Ellie and her mother to move to a tiny home downtown. Lonely and bearing the brunt of her mother’s endless grievances, Ellie dreams of a friend to alleviate her isolation.

Luckily, on the first day of school, she meets Homa, a kind, passionate girl with a brave and irrepressible spirit. Together, the two girls play games, learn to cook in the stone kitchen of Homa’s warm home, wander through the colorful stalls of the Grand Bazaar, and share their ambitions for becoming “lion women.”

But their happiness is disrupted when Ellie and her mother are afforded the opportunity to return to their previous bourgeois life. Now a popular student at the best girls’ high school in Iran, Ellie’s memories of Homa begin to fade. Years later, however, her sudden reappearance in Ellie’s privileged world alters the course of both of their lives.

Together, the two young women come of age and pursue their own goals for meaningful futures. But as the political turmoil in Iran builds to a breaking point, one earth-shattering betrayal will have enormous consequences.

Written with Marjan Kamali’s signature “evocative, devastating, and hauntingly beautiful” (Whitney Scharer, author of The Age of Light) prose, The Lion Women of Tehran is a sweeping exploration of how profoundly we are shaped by those we meet when we are young, and the way love and courage transforms our lives.

Source: Publisher
ISBN: 9781668036587
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication date: 07/02/2024

Praise For The Lion Women of Tehran

“Kamali tells a moving story of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and how a country’s transformation, in turn, transforms the lives of two unforgettable women. Simultaneously heartbreaking and life affirming, it’s a book that you won’t be able to put down until you’ve read every word.”—Adrienne Brodeur, New York Times bestselling author of Little Monsters

The Lion Women of Tehran had me under arrest from the start. A deeply nuanced story of family, sacrifice, and the unbreakable bond of true friendship. It is as heart wrenching as it is achingly beautiful.”—Sadeqa Johnson, New York Times bestselling author of The House of Eve

The Lion Women of Tehran is “[a] must-read for every book club. Deeply emotional, insightful, and engrossing. You won’t forget these women for a very long time. I loved it.”—Susan Elizabeth Phillips, New York Times bestselling author

“With this masterful, heart-centered novel, Marjan Kamali has crafted a deeply honest look at the true meaning of friendship. Through Homa and Ellie we see the nuances of a perfectly imperfect love that withstands class differences, personal trauma, jealousy, war, and revolution. Their souls are forever intertwined and as a reader it is an honor to bear witness. [The Lion Women of Tehran] made me incredibly proud to be an Iranian woman—a Lion Woman too.”—Shideh Etaat, author of Rana Joon and the One and Only Now

The Lion Women of Tehran is a novel about two girls, who grow up wanting very different things but are united by their affection for each other and their shared desire for a more egalitarian Iran. Kamali is a gifted storyteller at the height of her powers, who manages to connect the country’s complicated history with its present and sing the praises of Iranian women who, even today, are fighting for the most basic of freedoms. If you liked The Stationery Shop, you’ll love The Lion Women of Tehran.”—Rachel Beanland, author of Florence Adler Swims Forever and The House is On Fire

“In The Lion Women of Tehran, Marjan Kamali brings to life the beauty and tragedy of Iran in the 1960s. From the delicious scent of spices simmering, to the colors of the bazaar, to the snowflakes landing on a certain character’s hair, this story came brilliantly alive to me from the very first page. Courage, friendship, loyalty, hardship, love—this novel has everything.”—Mary Beth Keane, New York Times bestselling author of Ask Again, Yes

“Kamali’s storytelling is both evocative and hauntingly beautiful, creating a vivid portrayal of the characters’ lives and the cultural tapestry of Tehran. The Lion Women of Tehran is not merely a novel; it is a sweeping exploration of the enduring influence of early connections, the resilience of the human spirit, and the transformative power of love and courage in the face of political upheaval. This novel is a testament to Kamali’s storytelling prowess and her ability to create a deeply moving and thought-provoking narrative. I loved this book!”—Jean Kwok, New York Times bestselling author of Searching for Sylvie Lee

The Lion Women of Tehran is “[a] moving tale of friendship, betrayal, and forgiveness, unfolding into a deep and powerful exploration of feminist protest in Iran. The contrast between Ellie and Homa’s voices is a narrative all of its own, and Homa deserves a place as one of the true heroines of literature.”—Erica Bauermeister, New York Times bestselling author of No Two Persons

About Marjan Kamali, Author of The Lion Women of Tehran

Marjani Kamali author of The Lion Women of Tehran

Marjan Kamali, born in Turkey to Iranian parents, spent her childhood in Kenya, Germany, Turkey, Iran, and the United States. She holds degrees from UC Berkeley, Columbia University, and New York University. She is the 2022 recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Award. She is the author of The Lion Women of Tehran, The Stationery Shop, and Together Tea. Marjan lives with her husband in the Boston area. They have two children.

You can find and follow Marjan Kamali on her website, on Facebook, Instagram, and X.

Titles by Marjan Kamali

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The Lion Women Of Tehran

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