Alan Brennert

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Alan Brennert

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Englewood, The United States



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January 2010

Alan Brennert is the author of the historical novels Palisades Park, Honolulu (chosen one of the best books of 2009 by The Washington Post), and Moloka'i, which won the 2006 Bookies Award, sponsored by the Contra Costa Library, for the Book Club Book of the Year (and has sold over 600,000 copies since publication). It was also a 2012 One Book, One San Diego selection. He has won an Emmy Award and a People's Choice Award for his work as a writer-producer on the television series L.A. Law, and his short story "Ma Qui" was honored with a Nebula Award. His new novel, Daughter of Moloka'i, will be published by St. Martin's Press on February 19, 2019. Follow him on Facebook at

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Alan Brennert I visited Kalaupapa as part of the official tour, which is very closely escorted and is designed, rightly, to protect the privacy of the residents; I …moreI visited Kalaupapa as part of the official tour, which is very closely escorted and is designed, rightly, to protect the privacy of the residents; I met one or two people in passing, but there was no opportunity for a long exchange. Later I contacted the authorities at Kalaupapa about returning for a visit on my own, but I was told that any visitor outside the tour had to have a sponsor who could escort him/her, and they didn't have anyone to sponsor me. So I had to make do with what was in the public record. This turned out to be quite a lot: aside from fine biographies like Mel White's MARGARET OF MOLOKAI and Olivia Breitha's OLIVIA: MY LIFE OF EXILE IN KALAUPAPA, I read dozens of oral histories of patients as well as every file about the settlement in the Hawai'i State Archives. The latter went all the way back to 1866, and included letters sent by some of the very first exiles sent to (at that time) Kalawao. The archives held letters, journals, logs of incoming patients--a staggering amount of information that in toto presented a vivid picture of the history of the settlement. What I found in my research did inevitably change the story from my original conception, but always for the better; if a fact or incident surprised me, I figured it would surprise readers too, and I wove it into the story. But my biggest takeaway from the research were the people themselves, some of whom, like Ambrose Hutchison, became characters in the story...and some inspired fictional characters (there is more than a little of the amazing Margaret Kapuni in my protagonist Rachel). And even though I didn't get that personal visit to Kalaupapa, I'm moved and humbled to be told that today, in the Kalaupapa museum and gift shop, there's a big stack of MOLOKA'I for sale...the best kind of validation I can imagine.(less)
Alan Brennert No family connection, but I fell in love with Hawai'i on my first visit in 1980 and developed a passionate interest in its history, its people, its cu…moreNo family connection, but I fell in love with Hawai'i on my first visit in 1980 and developed a passionate interest in its history, its people, its culture and mythology. I've spent considerable time on O'ahu doing research at the State Archives, the Public Library, the Bishop Museum, et al, and have also made several trips to Moloka'i, a lovely island that's unique even for Hawai'i. And yes, I do have another novel I'm researching that will be set (at least partially) in the islands. Thanks for the question.(less)
Average rating: 4.11 · 159,392 ratings · 15,822 reviews · 58 distinct worksSimilar authors
Moloka'i (Moloka'i, #1)

4.15 avg rating — 116,201 ratings — published 2003 — 30 editions
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4.06 avg rating — 21,785 ratings — published 2009 — 16 editions
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Daughter of Moloka'i (Molok...

4.07 avg rating — 11,178 ratings — published 2019 — 15 editions
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Palisades Park

3.76 avg rating — 5,993 ratings — published 2013 — 8 editions
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Batman: Holy Terror

3.46 avg rating — 560 ratings — published 1991 — 4 editions
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Time and Chance

3.64 avg rating — 316 ratings — published 1990 — 6 editions
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Tales of the Batman: Alan B...

4.24 avg rating — 80 ratings — published 2016 — 3 editions
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The Hawaii Novels: Moloka'i...

4.62 avg rating — 52 ratings2 editions
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Kindred Spirits

3.36 avg rating — 42 ratings — published 1984 — 3 editions
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Her Pilgrim Soul

3.91 avg rating — 35 ratings — published 1990 — 2 editions
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More books by Alan Brennert…
Moloka'i Daughter of Moloka'i
(2 books)
4.15 avg rating — 127,381 ratings

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Alan’s Recent Updates

Alan Brennert answered Hugh Woodson's question: Alan Brennert
You're right, it is a love story, a love letter to a place that was a large part of my childhood as well as thousands of other people who grew up in New Jersey and New York in the past century. It's also a love letter to the people who made the park See Full Answer
Alan Brennert answered Candy Ogden's question: Alan Brennert
Actually, Candy, Hawai'i became an American territory on April 30, 1900, and from that point on anyone born in the Territory of Hawai'i was automatically an American citizen. It became a state on August 21, 1959.
More of Alan's books…
“Fear is good. In the right degree it prevents us from making fools of ourselves. But in the wrong measure it prevents us from fully living. Fear is our boon companion but never our master.”
Alan Brennert, Moloka'i

“Surrounded by darkness yet enfolded in light”
Alan Brennert, Moloka'i

“She already felt dead in everything but name. What remained to be taken from her? She longed to be enfolded, welcomed, into the earth - to breathe no more, love no more, hurt no more”
Alan Brennert, Moloka'i



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“A personal journey is part of the generational relay. Live your legacy then pass it on.”
Jo Ann V. Glim

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message 1: by Karen

Karen Macedo Just finished Daughter of Moloka'i which I won in a giveaweay. I loved Moloka.i and this was another great read. You are truly a gifted writer. I can't wait to see what you write next...

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