Articles

Journalism

I’m a generalist, but many of my major reported articles have covered Hawaiian history, politics, and culture.

The Faces of Aotearoa,” published in the February/March 2018 issue of Hana Hou!, depicts 19th-century Māori at a time of dramatic change. Photography by Jorge Bachmann, Fine Arts Museums San Francisco.

Keeping Step,” a profile of the legendary but little-known dance master Mae Kamāmalu Klein (who also happens to be my “hula grandmother”) appeared in Hana Hou!, December 2017/January 2018.

The Altruist,” a profile of a newspaperman, the prison newspaper he kept alive, and the paradoxes of life in San Quentin prison, appeared in the March 22, 2017 issue of Princeton Alumni Weekly. 

The Man Behind the Murals“: story of the life and art of Jean Charlot, born in Paris, fixture in the Mexican Muralist Movement, and visionary chronicler of Hawaiian culture, in Hana Hou!, February/March, 2016.

Mississippi Eyes“: Profile of civil rights photographer Matt Herron, Princeton Alumni Weekly, June 4, 2014.

Hawaiian Language: Dead or Alive?“: Honolulu magazine, November 2013.

“The Last of the Waimea Cowboys,” National Geographic Adventure, (February 2006), 74-77, 91-92.

Beyond the Little Grass Shack: Hawaiian music, with its storytelling tradition and distinctive plaintive sound, is thriving — on and off the islands,” Los Angeles Times, March 27, 2005.

Giving Voice“: Profile of cultural figure John Keola Lake, Honolulu magazine, November 2004.

The Hula Movement: The ancient Hawaiian art is catching on nationwide—even worldwide. The Atlantic, July/August 2002.

Personal Essays and travel literature

My travel essays have been widely anthologized. Many essays on writing and the writing life are at www.sinandsyntax.com.

Cutouts,” published first in Italy, A Love Story (Seal Press) and also in Best Travel Stories 2006 (Travelers Tales), among other books.

Souvenirs,” originally published by the Los Angeles Times and widely anthologized, is more poignant than punchy.

Articles on language and writing

Eight-part series on writing that launched the “Draft” series, featuring writers on writing,at the New York Times Opinionator.

Essay on growing up speaking “Pidgin English” in Hawaii.

“Total Risk, Freedom, Discipline,” published in The Writer and on my Web site.

“Good grief: Seven stages of manuscript drafts,” published in The Writer.