Third Blurb for Hapa Tales! by Rudy P. Guevarra Jr.

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Very honored to share this powerful praise for Hapa Tales by Rudy P. Guevarra Jr., Activist and Associate Professor of Asian Pacific American Studies at Arizona State University:

Sharon Chang’s novel is a powerful, self-reflective testimony on the complexities of racial belonging and what it means to be home. Navigating her identity across the continental U.S. and Hawai‘i, she reminds us that the fluidity of multiplicity is oftentimes confronted by the rigid expectations and ignorance of others, which lends to a deeply introspective account of what it means to be an Asian Mixed Woman in multiple settings. Chang is also quick to remind the reader of her own role both implicitly and explicitly, that comes with confronting race, racism and indignity when visiting a settler colonial island state. Hapa Tales and Other Lies is a wonderful addition to the growing body of literature of critical mixed race studies.

Among many publications, Rudy is author of Becoming Mexipino: Multiethnic Identities and Communities In San Diego (2012), co-editor of Red and Yellow, Black and Brown: Decentering Whiteness In Mixed Race Studies (2017), as well as co-editor of the newly released Beyond Ethnicity: New Politics of Race In Hawai‘i (2018). Given his vast experience and work in the field of critical mixed race studies, these words for my book are incredibly profound and important. Rudy will also be teaching Hapa Tales in his undergraduate class “Mixed Race Experiences” this fall! I am beyond grateful for the support of such a wonderful scholar and thinker.

My Untold Story of Acute Postpartum Anxiety

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Last month I went to hear Angela Garbes, author of Like a Mother: A Feminist Journey Through the Science & Culture of Pregnancy, speak in Seattle. At her talk, the Filipino American writer shared her experiences and addressed the ways society does not support mothers after their babies are born. It was amazing to watch a Brown Womxn stand before a packed room and speak openly about her body, life, and research. It made me consider how important our stories of pregnancy and childbirth are as Womxn of Color. Childbirth was a long time ago for me. My son is eight years old about to enter third grade. Yet watching and listening to Garbes lead me to realize … I’ve still never told my story. Especially the part about how I suffered acute postpartum anxiety after giving birth and for a full miserable year following.

In 2009, my son’s labor and birth went fast, spanning only six hours from start to finish. Having spent many nervous months anticipating the arrival of our first and only child—and worrying about everything that could go wrong—my husband and I counted ourselves lucky. We had not endured complications, a 36-hour labor, or cesarean section, like we had feared. There had not even been enough time to administer pain medication. Marveling at how “easy” it had all been, I remember taking a shower, emerging from the hospital bathroom, and proclaiming I felt great.

That would soon change …

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YOU’RE INVITED! Hapa Tales Launch @ Elliott Bay, Seattle WA

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It’s been over two and half years since I was last at the lovely Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle doing an author event. Overjoyed to announce I’m returning to this awesome, indie venue to launch my second book Hapa Tales and Other Lies: A Mixed Race Memoir About the Hawai‘i I Never Knew on September 19! As always, it’s very important to me to put on events that are community-collaborative; that share space while uplifting the work of others. So I am thrilled to also announce my launch will include four amazing Pacific Islander, Indigenous, Asian Am, and Mixed Race womxn/femme performers: Kalei‘okalani OnzukaSelena VelascoMarian Macapinlac, and Moonyeka (bios below). I’m more excited for this beautiful evening of music, dance, and words by womxn/femmes of color that I can express. Please do come join us next month: witness the beautiful performances of my sisters, hear me read from Hapa Tales, talk about the book’s inception, answer questions, purchase your copy and get it signed! We can’t wait to see you …

Hapa Tales and Other Lies Book Launch
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
7:00-8:30pm

Elliott Bay Book Company
1521 – 10th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122 
(206) 624-6600
www.elliottbaybook.com

This event is free and open to the public. Doors open 6:30p.

Facebook Event Page: Hapa Tales Launch @ Elliot Bay

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CEREMONY & DANCE / HA‘API‘I KALEI‘OKALANI ONZUKA ~ Kalei‘okalani is founder and instructor of Huraiti Mana, a Polynesian dance troupe based in Seattle. Born and raised in Wai‘anae, O‘ahu, Kalei is of Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian), Japanese, Chinese, and Black heritage. She began dancing at six years old with Lokelani Polynesian Revue in Nānākuli. After her ‘uniki, Kalei continued training with Polynesian Dance Troupe Ma‘ohi Nui, the Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Campus Hawaiian Ensemble and with Aunty Makalapua of Hālau Hula ‘O Mililani of Wai‘anae. From her move to Washington in 2009 until 2016, Kalei taught Tahitian, hula, and Samoan dances at Seattle University for the Hui ‘O Nani Hawai‘i club. In 2016, she began teaching hula for Arts Corps and Families of Color Seattle (FŌCS). With Huraiti Mana, she opens her independent teachings to students of all ages, learning from each and instilling in each significant values of cultural exchange and identity.

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PERFORMANCE ART / SELENA VELASCO ~ Selena is a Chamoru mother, queer nonbinary femme artist, poet and organizer, residing on occupied Duwamish/Coast Salish territory, who creates art through mixed media, collage, poetry and dance. Their art centers survivorship, reclamation of chamoru indigeneity, bodily autonomy, affirmations, and healing for queer and trans black, indigenous, people of color. Selena uses flowers throughout their art to honor matriarchs, queer and transcestors that came before them. They love practicing revolutionary parenting with their child, eating sweet treats and being a tender virgo.

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MUSIC / MARIAN MACAPINLAC ~ Born and raised on Guam, Marian cut her teeth on sacred music, but in her teens turned to the church of rock ‘n’ roll. She is in several active Seattle bands including Spinster, Hotel Stella, and BFFs Forever & Ever Amen. She volunteers year-round with Rain City Rock Camp for Girls and is an advocate for the visual and performing arts at all levels of ability.

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DANCE / MOONYEKA ~ Moonyeka is a sick and disabled queer Filipinx femme street-styles dancer who utilizes art creation and organizing to realize a more inclusive and intersectional world for the communities she comes from. Her current projects for 2018 include expanding WHAT’S POPPIN’ LADIEZ?! into a mentorship program for young brown femmes of color, “In The White Frame”, a work exploring the multi-racial experience in “post-racial” America that will be premiered at Northwest New Works. She is a teaching artist for Arts Corps + Spectrum Dance Theater, and coaches LIL BROWN GIRLS CLUB.

Seattle Women’s March 2.0

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I’m waiting for the light rail in South Seattle on my way to Women’s March 2.0. Camera strapped to my side, the morning weather is typical for a Pacific Northwest winter. Overcast, low 40s, threat of rain always imminent. I’m having a lot of feelings that match the weather. Grey, cloudy, unsure. A year ago I chose not to go to Women’s March 1.0 because, while important, it did not feel inclusive for me as a Womxn of Color.

A year later that nagging sensation of being an outsider to the movement remains. But this time in Seattle we are being led by Indigenous Womxn who have asked the community to turn out. Which changes everything. When an Indigenous contingent requests allyship on traditional lands, you show up if you can.

From the start, though, I can feel my lungs being compressed. In this wealthy, fast-gentrifying city, white feminism hangs thick everywhere like diesel fumes in too much traffic. It’s hard to breathe…

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Second Blurb for Hapa Tales! by Annmaria Shimabuku

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Second Hapa Tales blurb is in! Very moved by this praise from Indigenous Okinawan author Annmaria Shimabuku:

Hapa Tales examines the entanglements of Asian American mixed race and settler colonialism. It shows how mixed-race people, suspending in a state of liminality, can too easily succumb to a desire for a “hapa” piece of the American pie. Instead of allowing this vulnerability to be used as a lever of exploitation, Chang develops a method of listening in everyday life that tunes into what Native Hawaiians have been saying all along.

Annmaria is a scholar at the crossroads of Okinawan literature, postcolonial Japanese studies, and literary/political theory. She publishes in both English and Japanese to engage both sides of the Pacific simultaneously. Erasure of Native Hawaiians is something I discuss at length in Hapa Tales. Similarly, Okinawans are internationally-recognized Indigenous peoples often subsumed and disappeared under the umbrella of “Japanese.” Annmaria looks at this phenomenon in-depth in her new book Alegal: Biopolitics and the Unintelligibility of Okinawan Life (out this November).

Why I Decided, As a Womxn of Color, To Self-Publish

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Self-portrait, by Sharon H. Chang

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.

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A Distressing June & My Media From the Resistance

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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…

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First Blurb for Hapa Tales! by May-Lee Chai

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First Hapa Tales blurb 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.

The Video I Made For Breaking Barriers: Girls Empowerment Summit

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.

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