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Roses, in the Mouth of a Lion

Wednesday, February 28, 2024 at 4:30pm

A. D. White House
29 East Ave, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA

Reading by Bushra Rehman, followed by Q&A, moderated by Prachi Patankar

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 miniskirts, 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 was long listed for a Lambda Literary Ward and chosen as a Best Book and Editor’s Choice by The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, People Magazine, Good Morning America, Goodreads, The Chicago Review, BuzzFeed, Lit Hub, Lambda Literary, BookRiot, PopSugar, The AV Club, E! News, Ms. Magazine and more.

Bushra Rehman grew up in Corona, Queens. She is co-editor of Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism, and author of the poetry collection Marianna’s Beauty Salon and the dark comedy Corona, one of the New York Public Library’s favorite books about NYC.

Prachi Patankar is an anti-caste and feminist writer and activist who was born in rural Maharashtra, India. Over two decades in New York, she has been involved in social movements that link the local and the global, police brutality and war, migration and militarization, race and caste, women of color feminism, and global gender justice. Her work has been published by Al Jazeera, the Guardian, Jadaliyya, The Jacobin, and several other publications.

Books will be available for sale and signing from Buffalo Street Books after the reading.

Cosponsored by the Department of Literatures in English, Asian American Studies Program, Feminist, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program, and Society for the Humanities.

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