Tahereh Mafi's Futhermore: 'I couldn't get this girl out of my head'

Published on: 19 October 2016

Tahereh Mafi's debut middle-grade book tells the story of Alice, who is determined to prove herself and her own magical abilities after the disappearance of her father. To do so she'll have to travel into the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore...

Tahereh Mafi, credit by Tana Gandhi

Credit: Tana Gandhi

Tell us a little bit about Furthermore. It's a bit of an upside-down world, and a very colourful one. What did you want to create in terms of the world of the book?

'Furthermore is a sort of modern fairytale, and it tells the story of a colourless girl living in an extremely colorful world. I had no set plan of action when I started writing; in fact, I was only moved to tell the story because I couldn't get this girl out of my head.

'I wanted to know why she wouldn't stop dancing. Everything that came about in the book was a result of my asking her questions about who she was and where she came from.'


What inspired you to write Furthermore?

'This book was an expression of joy from top to bottom. I wrote it at a very happy time in my life and somehow imprinted those feelings onto the page.'

This is your first book for younger readers - how does writing for this age group compare to writing for young adults?

'So far it's been great! I'm still very new to it all, but I love the boundless enthusiasm of younger readers.'

Are you a big fantasy and magic fan? What are your top three fantasy and magic themed books?

'I do love fantastical and/or magical stories - but I might love magical realism even more! Favorites include The Chronicles of Narnia, Matilda, and Harry Potter.'

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