Truth? It’s incredibly hard to emotionally and financially sustain full-time artivism as a Womxn of Color. I’ve been a writer for almost a decade, a political photographer for years, am about to self-publish a memoir on a shoestring budget–and there are many days I want to give up.
My recording engineer husband has taken to calling me a “punk rock writer” recently. But I don’t play punk. I don’t listen to punk. I don’t move in punk circles. Never have. So why call me this, I asked confused? “Look it up,” he told me. “It’s DIY, anti-establishment, rebellious, counter-culture.”
Ah, got it. He’s taken to calling me punk because of the growing distrust I’ve developed toward traditional publishing and my subsequent decision to self-publish my newest book Hapa Tales and Other Lies.
It’s been quite a last couple months. From separating over 2,000 migrant children, banning Muslims from 7 countries, arresting over 500 peacefully protesting women, to the shooting of 5 community journalists–all in the span of weeks–it’s hard not to feel like this nation is coming unhinged. But, thankfully, The People have resisted, marched, protested, rallied. I spent the last couple weeks on the ground as much as I could. Following is my media and documentation…
First Hapa Talesblurb is in! Humbled to share these words of praise from prolific author and educator May-lee Chai:
Sharon H. Chang’s memoir delves deeply into issues of the construction of race, cultural appropriation, and colonization both in Hawai’i and the rest of America. From Hollywood to Honolulu to the techie capital of Seattle, Chang explores what it means to be a Mixed-Race Asian American woman today with candor and courage.
May-lee is a beautifully gifted, award-winning Asian American Mixed writer. She has published multiple books, essays, stories, nonfiction and fiction, among others. I read, and was inspired by, her poignant mixed-race memoir Hapa Girl many years ago. So, as you can imagine, it is such an honor to receive her recommendation for my memoir now. Thank you, thank you May-lee from the bottom of my heart for your sisterhood and support. May-lee has an exciting new book coming soon herself Useful Phrases For Immigrants (Oct 2018). Learn more about her and her work here.
Thanks to the kind invitation of my friend Jesse Hagopian, educator and activist, I had a fabulous feminist Friday last week. I spent the entire day curating my photos of girls and womxn standing in their power, in movement-making, for a video that opened Breaking Barriers: Girls Empowerment Summit at Garfield High School the following morning.
Today is reveal day and I’m overjoyed to share with you the gorgeous cover of Hapa Tales: A Mixed Race Memoir About the Hawai’i I Never Knew. I am so, so, so in love with this beautiful image, conceived and created by Japanese American graphic designer Ann Kumasaka. Without giving too much away, this cover perfectly captures the themes of loneliness, fairytales unwoven, and search for belonging that permeate Hapa Tales. And there’s a really important reason why Ann was able to capture those themes so well.
I have exciting news–I’ve written a new book and it’s coming out September 2018! Hapa Tales and Other Lies: A Mixed Race Memoir About the Hawai’i I Never Knew.
This memoir is my first foray into literary nonfiction. I wrote it last summer upon a visit to O’ahu and Kaua’i. It’s a reflection on my Mixed Race and activist identity through the prism of returning to Hawai’i as a tourist. The book began as a journey to sort out all the ways I’ve been racially stereotyped as a “Hawai’i Girl” even though I’ve never lived on the islands. But it evolved into a book about also examining my Asian multiracial (“mainland”) identity in relationship to land, Indigeneity, and the Hawaiian Sovereignty Movement.
It’s been an eye-opening and life-changing experience, to say the least. I remain humbled and am thrilled for you all to read it, enter into your own reflections, and–as with my first book Raising Mixed Race–use the book to hopefully build tougher, nuanced conversations about what it means to be/identify as Mixed Race.