Current Project

The Lava Never Sleeps: A Honolulu Memoir

My memoir is an exploration into memory, the layers of our physical and emotional bodies that define who we are, and place and cultures–the many landscapes that determine how a woman becomes who she is.

My Chinese American family appears to exemplify the model minority. Despite the achievement of academic success and solid middle-class values, the hoarding of words and outward affection takes a toll. Such quiet crimes ripple out into the future, just as my experiences of childhood sexual trauma and emotional abuse have life-changing, longitudinal effects. Those actions that seem innocuous to adults can and do harm a child.

The power of story creates a refuge. Writing gives me the authority to tell my secrets to remove shame and to acknowledge our collective humanity. This is my journey to sort out cultural and personal identity and to make sense of family secrets, including childhood traumas. In the process, Hawaiian history, geology, and mythology become crucial touchstones for me. They remind me I am a child of the land, and this book is an island daughter’s expression of love for Hawai‘i.

Aquarius Press is publishing this book in April 2019.


One thought on “Current Project

  1. Dear Loreen,
    I am touched by hearing your journey through life and would love to read your book when it is published. I have had my own traumas and it is good always, to know I am not alone. How brave and generous of you to share your nightmares and revelations in print. I too am looking more deeply into the rich heritage of the Hawaiian culture. It is so much more valuable than I realized when I was younger.

    I wish you all the best in finding a publisher.


    Kathy McClellan Pickard

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