Meet Woman. Warrior. Writer. Mindy Pennybacker!

Photo of Mindy Pennybacker

My Korean-American family cherished books and music. My mother, a pianist, read aloud to me from infancy; my grandfather took me to the Waikiki-Kapahulu Library every Saturday. Although money was scarce, he bought me books or records—a novel about a young Wyoming equestrienne’s first romance, or the Rolling Stones’ first album–that were just a little too old for me. I never mastered an instrument, but found a musical outlet in the rhythm of riding waves, which also felt like writing on water. Books transported me far away, yet, living elsewhere, I knew Hawai’i was the subject of my writer’s life.

Born and raised in Honolulu, I write a surf and ocean lifestyle column for The Honolulu Star-Advertiser exploring gender equity, public access and natural resource protection. My writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Tne New York Times, The Wall St. Journal, The Nation, Self, The Surfers’ Journal, Glamour,The Green Guide and Honolulu Weekly, and has won National Endowment for the Arts and Wallace Stegner awards.

Surfing Sisterhood Hawai‘i: Wahine Reclaiming the Waves profiles 30 local female surfers and is the first history of women’s surfing to be written by a woman. Order here or at bookstores starting June 1.

Hawai’i events:

June 24 launch @da Shop in Kaimuki, 2-4 pm

July 1 @ Bookends in Kailua, 12-1 pm

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