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Gallery Books

The Lion Women of Tehran by Marjan Kamali (Hardcover) (PREORDER)

The Lion Women of Tehran by Marjan Kamali (Hardcover) (PREORDER)

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Fiction - Historical - 20th Century Post World War II 


From the nationally bestselling author of the “powerful, heartbreaking” (Shelf Awareness) The Stationery Shop, a heartfelt, epic new novel of friendship, betrayal, and redemption set against three transformative decades in Tehran, Iran.

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.


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 TehranThe Stationery Shop, and Together Tea. Marjan lives with her husband in the Boston area. They have two children.

" 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

"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. This book 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

"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

"Marjan Kamali is at it again, this time bringing us a story of friendship and love set against the tumult and terror of the Iranian Revolution.The Lion Women of Tehranis 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 likedThe Stationery Shop, you'll loveThe Lion Women of Tehran."--Rachel Beanland, author ofFlorence Adler Swims ForeverandThe House is On Fire

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