ATEC - Episode 96: Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops ft. Allison Hong Merrill (Featured Image)

Episode 96: Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops ft. Allison Hong Merrill

When Allison Hong Merrill was growing up in the slums of Taiwan her family was riddled with cycles of alcoholism and domestic violence. She couldn’t imagine a different life until she met Mormon missionaries, began attending church and witnessed, for the first time, families who cared for one another. She became more and more active in the church and eventually fell in love, moving to the US to be with her American husband. But soon after, he abandoned Allison, took her money, and left her alone in her new country with no resources. In this episode, Allison, whose new memoir Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops is out this month, shares how she found strength, created a new life for herself, and what her past has helped her understand. 


Allison is a Taiwanese immigrant in Utah. She holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and writes in both Chinese and English, both fiction and creative nonfiction, which means she spends a lot of time looking up words on Dictionary.com. Her work has won both national and international awards. Her memoir, Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops, comes out on Sep. 21, 2021.

Visit her at www.allisonhongmerrill.com, where you can sign up for her extremely short monthly email.

Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Ninety-Nine-Fire-Hoops-Allison-Merrill/dp/1647421896



I’m a writer, a teacher, a native New Yorker, and I love hearing about people’s lives. When I think back to my elementary school days at PS 20 in Flushing, Queens whenever we began social studies or a history lesson I wasn’t that interested in learning about battles, topography, or politics. What I wanted to know was how people lived: What their families were like, how they adapted to their circumstances, what they ate, how they celebrated, how they felt.
Sociology became my major at Binghamton University and in my life so far I’ve been an actress, a salesperson, a Zoo Keeper’s Aid, a volunteer animal trainer, an ELL teacher, a mother, and a wife. I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had, all of which led me to create this podcast which is one of the most rewarding projects I’ve undertaken. I couldn’t ask for a better job than having in-depth conversations with survivors, thought leaders, authors, social justice warriors, and people who believe that we are all connected and then getting to share their stories, insight, and vulnerability with listeners.
I’m so glad you’ve landed on this page. I hope you find stories here which resonate with you and that you’ll tune in every week. 


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