Tazeen Shaikh’s Debut Novel “The Fire You Don’t See”

Tazeen Shaikh is a twenty-one year old author who suffers from depression, anxiety, and panic attack disorder. Shaikh has always loved writing, and when nothing helped her issues, she decided to get help through her own words. She recently published her debut novel “The Fire You Don’t See”. The story revolves around two young women who suffer from complications that are close to Shaikh’s heart - mental illness and bullying. The two main characters are Indian and Korean. Shaikh says that the reason she incorporated a multicultural dimension into her work is that she wanted “to show that no matter what race we are and what geographic location we belong to, we all share the same common need to love and to be loved. We all feel pain. Both the lead characters support each other through the storm and find friendship in the chaos.” Shaikh wants to inspire others and heal alongside them. Although the story is fictitious, it is inspired by Shaikh’s ongoing fight with mental illness and the scars that remain from being bullied in the past. A synopsis of the book and purchase link can be found below:

A twenty-one year old Indian girl, Eira, is trying her best to get through life in Dubai as a regular college student. But her deteriorating mental health, along with the loss of her roommate and best-friend, has ignited a ceaseless fire within her. However, her life suddenly begins to change by the entry of Aehyun, a transfer student from South Korea who has a struggle of her own. These young women of two different countries yet similar spirits, brought together by fate, find friendship in the midst of chaos. Will this friendship sweep the ashes from their past? Or will it bury the two under them forever?



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By: Jessica Hutt

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