Issues of identity intrigue me.

A Chinese American writer of creative nonfiction, I was born in Honolulu. My personal essays and memoir work reflect many cultures, the intersections of cultures, and conflicts. I am shaped by many factors, some obvious, some oblique: family, environment, geography, language, politics, pop culture, health, affinities, work, education, economies, as well as by nationality and ethnicity. 
 I hope to give my readers a sense of what Hawaii means to someone born and raised there, to understand the rich culture of Hawaiians and their relationship to the land.


I am a child of the land. Born and raised in Honolulu when Hawaii was still a U.S. Territory, I was nurtured by the beauty of the islands, the ocean and land, the Hawaiian legends and culture. I am the middle daughter born in the mid-twentieth century to middle-class, Chinese American parents. Despite my private school education and my many years in Seattle, I am still a local girl at heart. I feel the pull to return to the islands often for regeneration and renewal. I have lived in Seattle since 1986, longer than my years in Hawai‘i. I am one of many, many thousands of island residents and Hawaiians who have left our island home for job and educational opportunities and an affordable lifestyle. Call us Hawai‘i expats or diaspora, my heart still is rooted there.

4 thoughts on “About

  1. Aloha mai Loreen, Beautiful website! The lava edge against the ocean lookss like a powerfully hot day, evokes new lava growth and birth of new ‘aina. Strong potent place! What is the story around this photo?
    How exciting to watch you grow as a writer and to know you through our many adventures. Mahalo piha for inviting me to visit your site.
    best regards, aloha a hui hou,

  2. MAloha mai kaua e Loreen! You, my friend, are a true testament to my belief that life begins again after 60. Your journey and voyaging reinforce and reflect what Hawai’i really is all about—a true blessing of the highest order. Literally, Hawai’i means the divine breath of life, provided by the Highest of the High, spiritually embraced by the purest, freshest life-giving, life sustaining waters. Mahalo for inviting and informing me of this wonderful blog. May Akua continuously bless and keep you as your journeying progresses!

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