“A Very Large Expanse of Sea” Sends It’s Readers Sailing for New Ideas

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“A Very Large Expanse of Sea” Sends It’s Readers Sailing for New Ideas

Hannah Smith

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“A Very Large Expanse of Sea” by Tahereh Mafi came out this fall. It tells the story of a teenage muslim girl growing up in a post 9/11 world. The reader meets Shirin as she is starting her first day of sophomore year at her third high school. As the reader walks around in Shirin’s brain, they begin to understand how isolated and angry she is with the world and her situation.

“‘A Very Large Expanse of Sea’ is a story inspired by the true events of my life. Ultimately, this is a work of fiction, but Shirin’s story is an amalgamation of real experiences” said Mafi to Epic Reads.

While this is Mafi’s first realistic fiction book, this isn’t her first book to be published. Mafi has previously published seven books; five, of which, are dystopian novels and the other two being a fantasy books.

“Establishing myself as an author separate and apart from my identity as a Muslim woman was a feat I once never thought possible. But this—this book—is also a feat I once never thought possible. Because even though I knew I would write this book, I never knew if it would find an audience,”  said Mafi to Epic Reads.

In the end, “A Very Large Expanse of Sea” is a love story between two young people with an ocean of culture between them, but along the way, it’s a story of family and a young teenager learning how to overcome the anger she feels. This book at its best explains how tough highschool can be and sheds light on to a story not often told.

Mafi not only spread a story that is not often told, but did it in the way that makes it a relatable book for all high school students. She managed to capture the essence of what it feel like to be in highschool.

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