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Pam Chun's Bio

Born and raised in Hawaii in a family of storytellers, Pam Chun attended Punahou, the University of Hawaii, and graduated with honors from the University of California, Berkeley. Recent publications include works on Asian Pacific Americans and Hawaii.

Pam has been interviewed and featured on National Public Radio, at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C., at the National Archives and Records Administration’s Conference on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and in the 2004 documentary, Hawaii’s Chinatown, which premiered on Hawaii PBS. Pam has been a speaker at Alameda’s first Literary Festival for readers, San Francisco’s first Litquake, the San Francisco Writer’s Conference, the Bamboo Ridge Writer’s Workshop, and many universities. Multi-page interviews of Pam and her publications appear in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Honolulu Advertiser, The Honolulu Star-Bulletin, the Seattle International Examiner, the South China News (China) and Alameda Magazine. Reviews of her novels have appeared in national publications and internationally (Asia Review of Books and South China News). Her travel writing is published online at AOL Travel.

THE MONEY DRAGON, Pam’s first novel, named one of 2002’s Best Books in Hawaii, topped the best sellers charts for months upon its hardback and paperback release. In 2003, her novel received the Kapalapala Po`okela Award for excellence in literature from the Hawaii Book Publisher’s Association. THE MONEY DRAGON, a tale of Old Hawaii, is the saga of Pam’s great-grandfather, Lau Ah Leong, one of the legends of Hawaii and founder of Honolulu’s Chinatown who, despite his immense power and wealth, is not mentioned in any history of Hawaii or of the Chinese in Hawaii. THE MONEY DRAGON is a tale of cultures, empowered women, the conflict of Hawaiian, Territorial, and Federal laws, and the power of love. An excerpt from THE MONEY DRAGON is included in the anthology Honolulu Stories (2006).

Pam Chun’s second novel, WHEN STRANGE GODS CALL, which expanded on one of the scandals of her infamous family, focused on the contemporary clash of cultures in Hawaii and received the 2005 Ka Palapala Po`okela Award for excellence in literature.

Pam Chun was on the Executive Advisory Board for the University of San Francisco Center for the Pacific Rim, chair of its Women’s Roundtable, on the Board of Directors for the California Alumni Association at the University of California, Berkeley, and has been an officer for over 30 years on CAL’s Chinese Chapter Board. Pam is one of the veteran Storytellers at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.

Pam was honored as one of 2004’s four Outstanding Overseas Chinese by the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association. She served as a fiction judge for the 2007 and 2008 Kiriyama Prize for Pacific Rim Literature.

Pam lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, Transpac sailor Fred J. Joyce III. She has one son, a U.S. diplomat serving overseas, who was born in the Year of the Dragon like his great-great grandfather, Lau Ah Leong


-Kiriyama Prize Fiction Judge 2008
-The San Francisco Writers’ Conference, presenter 2007
Kiriyama Prize Fiction Judge 2007
-The Hawaii Book Publisher’s Association presents WHEN STRANGE GODS CALL the 2005 Kapalapala Po’okela Award for Excellence in Literature
-Merritt College, Oakland, CA, Author presenter 2005
-The First San Francisco Writers Conference, Author presenter, 2004
-Board of Directors, CAL Alumni Association, University of California at Berkeley, 2004-2007
-The Smithsonian Castle, Washington DC, Co-sponsored by the Hawaii State Society, Featured Author speaker 2004
-Named “Outstanding Overseas Chinese” by the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, San Francisco, CA at the 52nd Annual Overseas Chinese Day and Awards, Oct 15, 2004
-US-China Friendship Assn. Western Region Conference, Honolulu, HI, Keynote speaker, 2004
-The Bamboo Ridge Writers’ Institute, presenter 2004
-The Rotary Club of Waikiki, speaker, 2004
-Interviewed on “Town Hall” on Hawaii PBS, 2004
-Alameda Literati, Author speaker 2004
-The University of San Francisco, Center for the Pacific Rim, San Francisco, CA, Pacific Rim Author Series Speaker 2004
-Pacific Rim Author Series speaker, The University of San Francisco Center for the Pacific Rim, San Francisco, CA, 2002
-National Archives and Records Administration, Reclaiming the Legacy, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in United States History, presenter, May 2002
-The Hawaii Book Publisher’s Association awards THE MONEY DRAGON, Honorable Mention, Kapalapala Po’okela Award for Excellence in Literature, 2002
-The Bamboo Ridge Writers’ Institute, presenter 2002
-San Francisco’s First Litquake, Author Presenter 2002
-Executive Advisory Board of the University of San Francisco, Center for the Pacific Rim, 2002 -