In the Belly of the Queen: Pre-Order Now

Translated by Grashina Gabelmann

 ‘This is the tight, urgent style of an author who genuinely has something to say.’ Stefanie Roenneke, Neues Deutschland.

Publishing 1 April 2023.

Amal shocks the whole neighbourhood by beating up her classmate Younes. Her father defends her behaviour and encourages her to assert herself. From then on everyone avoids Amal – and then her father leaves. Searching in vain for an explanation, Amal finds unexpected refuge with Younes and his mother Shahira, both outsiders like her. Years later, when the situation comes to a head and the conflict with Raffiq’s gang escalates, Amal flees to Kurdistan to look for her father.

Raffiq’s friend Younes is the reluctant centre of attention in their neighbourhood – thanks to his free-spirited mother Shahira, who breaks all the rules. Raffiq thinks about Shahira all the time, at once fascinated and repulsed by her. Unable to bear the situation any longer, Younes plans to leave. When Raffiq’s girlfriend Amal also wants to move away, Raffiq’s world begins to break apart. He attempts to sabotage their plans. The question is: what does Raffiq actually want to do with his life?

In her kaleidoscopic novel, Karosh Taha expands our ideas of class, race and gender as she loops two stories around an invisible lynchpin: a woman who defies all expectations, a blank canvas for projections from all those around her. Deftly translated by Grashina Gabelmann, the book can be explored from either end, creating two very different narratives. 

Im Bauch der Königin could have been a very serious book, but the author’s flair for narration, her poetic language – which succeeds in making a fascinating world out of the dreary Ruhr area – and her sharp instinct for comedy mean that there is a great lightness to the book’s depth.’ Anne Burgmer, Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger

‘With brilliant language poised between humour and harshness, poetry and teen slang, Karosh Taha plumbs the depths of intergenerational conflict and touches on several universal themes. […] An impressive new voice in contemporary Germany literature.’ Susanna Schürmanns, WDR Westart

  • In the Belly of the Queen
    Pre-order 12.99 GBP
    1 April 2023

‘There are two sides to every story, but this simple truth is rarely as meaningfully explored in literature as in Karosh Taha’s second novel Im Bauch der Königin. Karosh Taha succeeds in making you forget the construction in the narration, so richly and dazzlingly do her sentences shine.’

Britta Heidemann, Westdeutsche Allgemeine

‘Karosh Taha gives her protagonists something they don’t have at home, […] a voice. And this voice is not self-pitying but angry, rebellious, original, and funny. […] A refreshing tone.’

Dina Netz, SWR2 Lesenswert

‘With her evocative language, humour, and clever observations, Karosh Taha ensures this is a book you won’t want to put down.’

Hengameh Yaghoobifarah, MISSY Magazin

‘The suspense, the author’s sensual language, and the kaleidoscope of words make [IM BAUCH DER KÖNIGIN] a very special novel.’

Burcu Arslan, Bremen Zwei

‘Im Bauch der Königin is a book about the power of societal expectations, about womanhood and the search for truth. […] Karosh Taha writes with a distinctive style about life in a Kurdish community in Germany.’

Mona Ameziane, 1LIVE Stories

‘Karosh Taha finds powerful poetic images for conflicting feelings and writes with incisive, liberating humour.’

Dina Netz, Deutschlandfunk Kultur

‘This is the tight, urgent style of an author who genuinely has something to say.’

Stefanie Roenneke, Neues Deutschland

‘With Im Bauch der Königin Karosh Taha has written an outstanding book on the question of what it can mean to be a woman.’

BÜCHER Magazin

‘Im Bauch der Königin is a hypnotic, ambiguous novel, as magical as it is ruthless.’

Antje Deistler, Deutschlandfunk

‘An outstanding book.’

Ingrid Mosblech-Kaltwasser, Der Kultur Blog