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HEART OF FIRE by Mazie K. Hirono


An Immigrant Daughter's Story

by Mazie K. Hirono

Pub Date: April 20th, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-984881-60-1
Publisher: Viking

The life story of the first Asian American woman and only immigrant in the Senate.

Hirono was born in 1947 in a rural town in Japan. Following years of abuse, her mother escaped back to her native Hawaii with the author and her older brother in hopes of a better life. Being a single parent, she had to work multiple jobs to support the family. “She had a heart of fire and would always pick herself up and try something else, seek another way forward,” writes Hirono. “Mom didn’t believe in feeling sorry for herself or in bemoaning her circumstances. She intended to take care of us, and in that purpose she never wavered. Always looking out for the next opportunity.” They initially lived in a “small, windowless room” in a boardinghouse and had no access to health care. These early experiences became pivotal in her decision to pursue public service in order “to help the most defenseless among us.” Given her cultural roots in Japan and Hawaii, as well as the often unfair expectations placed on women in politics, Hirono often exercised restraint in showing her emotions in order to get measures passed during much of her early political career. However, her demeanor changed markedly following the 2016 presidential election. No longer could she stay silent in the face of grave injustices. “My expectations of the most xenophobic, misogynistic, corrupt, and self-dealing president in history could not have been lower, yet he would sink beneath even that, plunging the nation into one crisis after another,” she writes. “There was no end to the cruelty, compulsive lies, and outright fraud perpetrated by Trump and his enablers.” With both ferocity and compassion, Hirono chronicles her experiences in Congress, exposing the rampant hypocrisy and illogical behavior she has witnessed. At the same time, warmth and love shine through, as she attributes her success and determination to the example set by her mother.

A heartfelt and fiery political memoir and immigrant story.