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2021 Readers' Favorite Book Awards Gold Medal in Non-Fiction - Memoir
2021 Literary Titan Book Awards Gold Medal Winner
2021 International Impact Book Awards Winner
2021 Firebird Book Award Winner


A Taiwanese immigrant bride––disowned by her father, abandoned by her American husband in Texas, and inarticulate in English––victoriously creates her own destiny. Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops is an extraordinary true story about this strong woman of color determined to defy gender inequality and racism to chart her own path.


"The reader can't help but hang onto her every word . . . A surprising but compelling memoir of resilience and family."--Kirkus Reviews

". . . [A] poignant and compelling memoir. . . . The viewpoint [Merrill] presented was uniquely centered in religion and ethnicity yet was universal as the skillful words touched on the basics of human motivation."--Readers' Favorite, 5-star review

"Must Read! A self-deprecating memoir, beautifully depicting the intricacies of Chinese culture and the timeless search for where one truly belongs."--Reedsy, 5-star review

"From her journey as a fresh-off-the-boat immigrant speaking only Mandarin Chinese to her voyages back and forth through different spiritual and social frames of mind, Merrill creates a powerful saga of a personal journey replete with emotionally-charged wellsprings of inheritance, discovery, and change."--D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

"The book explores independence, maturity, faith, and love with a strong voice and narrative structure. . . . Supported by strong, well-paced writing, this makes for a very enjoyable read."--The BookLife Prize

"Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops is a fascinating, important, and well-developed narrative, told by a sympathetic narrator with much urgency and grace."--Sue William Silverman, author of How to Survive Death and Other Inconveniences

"Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops follows Allison's journey from Taiwan to Utah seeking love and belonging after a difficult childhood, marriage, and divorce. The story is heartfelt, brave, ultimately inspiring, and written in a uniquely charming voice."--Harrison Candelaria Fletcher, author of Presentimiento: A Life in Dreams

"Russian composer Dmitri Shostavoch said, 'When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something.' In the case of young Allison Hong Merrill, her desire to believe in something may have saved her from ultimate despair. Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops masterfully weaves stories of the author's Chinese family, spanning two decades, intermingled with regional history, culture, and culture shock in America. A fascinating tale of both cruelty and compassion."--Jodi Orgill Brown, interactions expert, speaker, and award-winning author of The Sun Still Shines

"Allison Hong Merrill has a gift for writing a dramatic tale while simultaneously sharing her hard-won wisdom. Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops reads like a novel. Merrill's story not only gives a reader a greater understanding of Chinese culture, language, and traditions but also provides insight into the human condition while building a bridge between east and west. A brilliant and beautiful debut!"--Rev. Camilla Sanderson, author of The Mini Book of Mindfulness

"Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops is a deeply moving memoir that depicts the story of a Taiwanese immigrant bride abandoned in Texas and how she triumphs over tremendous odds to build her American dream. Allison Hong Merrill's gift of storytelling will take you on an exciting, rewarding, and emotional journey and leave you wanting more."--Dr. Linda Murphy Marshall, author of Ivy Lodge: A Memoir

"Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops is a beautiful memoir that will bring you to tears and make you laugh in the same few pages. Allison Hong Merrill's experiences growing up in Taiwan are both heart-wrenching and inspirational. . . . Interwoven into the compelling scenes is Allison's resilience, which burns deep in her soul, propelling her forward a day at a time, until she can fully grasp how her trials have made her stronger, more sympathetic, and more loving. Her knack for blending her remarkable heritage with poignant insights makes this book one to absorb instead of simply reading."--Heather B. Moore, author of The Paper Daughters of Chinatown

"Allison Hong Merrill makes three intertwined journeys through family, faith, and immigration, each filled with danger, heartbreak, and ultimately joy. Watching Allison grow from fearful child and unknowing bride into her own power to love and be loved is meaningful and moving, and discovering her native Taiwan through her childhood stories is fascinating. A powerful and inspiring journey from loneliness and fear to love and hope."--Allison K. Williams, social media editor at Brevity Magazine and author of Seven Draft: Self-Edit Like a Pro from Blank Page to Book

"Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops is an enthralling and thought-provoking memoir . . . [A] charming aspect of the book is the beautiful representation of Taiwanese culture and Chinese history. Extensive details of rituals and traditions feel exotic . . . Merrill writes with intensity and simplicity; you cannot remain untouched."--Literary Titan, 5-star review

"It's a feat to which many memoir authors might aspire, but few achieve with such faultless finesse with Merrill refusing to cast herself in the role of victim. And through her openness, we are reminded of the power of faith when forced to travel the path of adversity. . . . An exceptional read, Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops is recommended without reservation."--BookViral Reviews

Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops


  • ISBN





    She Writes Press


    Allison Hong Merrill (author)

  • # OF PAGES





    None. All Rights Available


    Allison Hong Merrill,

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