Allison Hong Merrill


Taiwanese Writer

Allison Hong Merrill in Taiwan.


Allison was born and raised in Taiwan and came to the U.S. at age twenty-two as a university student. That’s when she realized her school English wasn’t much help when asking for directions on the street or opening a bank account. By recording each of the classes she took––including physical education––and reviewing the tape every night for a year, she eventually learned English well enough to earn an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, with an emphasis on Creative Nonfiction. But please excuse her if she misuses the verb tenses or mixes up the genders in third-person pronouns when she speaks. It’s no secret––English is a hard language to learn.

Allison’s Family at 鯉魚潭 (The Carp Lake), Hualien, Taiwan, circa 1977.
Allison’s Family celebrating Chinese New Year, 1980. Hualien, Taiwan.

Allison writes both fiction and creative nonfiction in both Chinese and English, which means she spends a lot of time looking up words on 

Specifically, she writes memoir, personal essay, and Young Adult fiction with crossover potential. She is currently drafting an #ownvoices #IRMC #POC novel, Six Sage Society, and plotting a Chinese family saga, I’m Not My Father’s Lover. Her memoir, 99 Fire Hoops, is forthcoming from She Writes Press (September 21, 2021).

Allison and Her Father. Hualien, Taiwan, circa 1977.

Allison believes that everyone is endowed with the power to choose for him/herself. She also believes that kindness is the answer to most of the challenges we face as a human race. Choose to be Kind is her motto.

One of Allison’s Kindness Projects–-Serving Sushi on the Street.

Allison is grateful to live a creative life. It’s her dream come true. Aside from writing, she also models and acts for print and film. But her greatest joy is sharing her life with her husband and their three sons.

Allison in Taiwan.

Writing Credentials:

“Choices can free people from difficult circumstances and empower us to create our own destiny.”

––Allison Hong Merrill