The author of This Woven Kingdom (Feb. 1) answers EW's burning pop culture questions.
The Woven Kingdom by Tahereh Mafi
Tahereh Mafi is the author of 'This Woven Kingdom'
| Credit: HarperCollins

Tahereh Mafi spends all of her professional hours building rich, layered fictional worlds. The National Book Award nominee has created bestselling series and standalone novels about everything from fantastical deadly weapons to post-9/11 America — but in her free time, she aims to consume works that are nothing like her resumé. To mark the release of This Woven Kingdom, the first in a new romantic trilogy, Mafi gave EW a peek inside her pop culture habits.

My favorite book as a child

It's so hard to choose just one, but I think I'll go with The Prince and the Pauper, by Mark Twain.

The last thing that made me cry

I watched The Father on a cross-country flight, which was a huge mistake. I sobbed so inelegantly I had to hide my face in the airplane window, unsuccessfully mopping up my tears with the fast-disintegrating remains of a single, small square napkin they gave me with my in-flight beverage. (In case it wasn't clear: I loved the movie.)

The first album I bought with my own money

The soundtrack to Phantom of the Opera. I was in 6th grade! I can't decide whether to be embarrassed about this.

The last concert I attended

The last concert I went to was pre-Covid, unfortunately. I saw Twenty One Pilots with my husband; it was a great show.

The movie I watch over and over

Joe Wright's version of Pride and Prejudice

The last tv show that made me laugh out loud

Ted Lasso!

The books I read that helped inform my own writing

All of them, probably. My mind is like a compost-bin for books.

The last TV show I binged

Sadly, I don't have time to binge-watch anything at this juncture in my life, but right now we're devoting an hour most evenings to an episode of House, M.D. — which I never saw when it originally aired — and I'm riveted.

The fictional world I'd most like to live in

Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls.

The writer I wish more people knew about

Mhairi McFarlane. Her books are so emotionally intelligent and insightful. 

The tv show or movie I think everyone should watch

This is a tough one to answer, but probably… Lagaan. It's a heartrending but epic Bollywood gem that depicts the struggles — and triumphs — of a small Indian village under British occupation.

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