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.
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.