Alan Brennert biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Alan Brennert

Alan Brennert

Alan Brennert Biography

Alan Brennert is a novelist, screenwriter, and playwright. He was born in 1954 in Englewood, New Jersey, to Herbert E. Brennert, an aviation writer, and Almyra E. Brennert, an apartment rentals manager. He has lived since 1973 in Southern California, where he received a B.A. in English from California State University at Long Beach and did graduate work at the UCLA film school.

His novel Moloka'i was a national bestseller and a One Book, One San Diego selection for 2012. It also received the Bookies Award, sponsored by the Contra Costa Library, for the 2006 Book Club Book of the Year. His next novel, Honolulu, won first prize in Elle magazine's Literary Grand Prix for Fiction and was named one of the best books of 2009 by The Washington Post. Of his novel Palisades Park, People magazine said, "Brennert writes his valentine to the New Jersey playground of his youth in Ragtime style, mixing fact and fiction. It's a memorable ride."

His work as a writer-producer for the television series L.A. Law earned him an Emmy Award and a People's Choice Award in 1991. He has been nominated for an Emmy on two other occasions, once for a Golden Globe Award, and three times for the Writers Guild Award for Outstanding Teleplay of the Year. His short story "Ma Qui" was honored with a Nebula Award in 1992, and that same year he co-wrote the libretto for the Alan Menken/David Spencer musical Weird Romance, produced by the WPA Theatre in New York and since performed in dozens of regional, high school, and college productions throughout the country. Columbia Records released a soundtrack album in 1993, which is currently available on iTunes.

In February 2019, he published Daughter of Moloka'i, a long-awaited follow-up to Moloka'i.

Alan Brennert's website

This bio was last updated on 10/09/2019. We try to keep BookBrowse's biographies both up to date and accurate, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's a tough task. So, please help us - if the information about this author is out of date or inaccurate, and you know of a more complete source, please let us know. Authors and publishers: If you wish to make changes to a bio, send the complete biography as you would like it displayed so that we can replace the old with the new.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Interview

In three separate interviews Alan Brennert talks about Moloka'i, set in a leper colony in early 20th century Hawai'i; Honolulu, which follows the life of a young "picture bride" who arrives in Hawai'i in 1914; and Daughter of Moloka'i, the 2019 sequel to his debut.

A Conversation with Alan Brennert about Daughter of Moloka'i

What inspired you to write a sequel to Moloka'i?

Not long after Moloka'i was published, I was speaking to a book club when one of its members asked me, "Have you ever considered telling Ruth's story?" I had not, and though I found the idea intriguing, so soon after Moloka'i I was ready to move on to other subjects. Two books and a decade later, I was talking to my brilliant agent, Molly Friedrich, about an idea I had for another novel when she said, "You know what you should write? You should tell Ruth's story," and argued that there was potentially a powerful story there to be told. Well, I don't need to be hit on the head with an idea a third time! After some initial thought I began to see a perfect three-act structure to Ruth's life: her childhood in Honolulu and California; her internment during World War II; and the final third of the novel, Ruth's meeting with Rachel and her 22-year relationship with her birth mother, which had only been alluded to in Moloka'i. Two and a half years later, with substantial help in shaping the story from Molly and my editors, Hope Dellon and Elisabeth Dyssegaard, the structure I first envisioned remains.

Was it difficult ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Books by this Author

Books by Alan Brennert at BookBrowse
Daughter of Moloka'i jacket Palisades Park jacket Honolulu jacket Moloka'i jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Alan Brennert but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

We recommend 18 similar authors

View all 18 Readalikes

Non-members can see 2 results. Become a member
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: Becoming
    Becoming
    by Michelle Obama
    Voted 2019 Best Nonfiction Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    BookBrowse hosted a Book Club ...
  • Book Jacket: Butterfly Yellow
    Butterfly Yellow
    by Thanhha Lai, Daniel Suarez
    Voted 2019 Best Young Adult Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    As readers, many of us hope ...
  • Book Jacket: Olive, Again
    Olive, Again
    by Elizabeth Strout
    Voted 2019 Best Fiction Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    It's been a big year for literary ...
  • Book Jacket: Solitary
    Solitary
    by Albert Woodfox
    Voted 2019 Best Debut Author Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    According to statistics from ...

Book Club
Book Jacket
Evening in Paradise
by Lucia Berlin

"Berlin's new book is a marvel, filled with deeply touching stories about lives on the fringes."—NPR

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Mighty Justice
    by Dovey Johnson Roundtree & Katie McCabe

    An inspiring life story that speaks urgently to our troubled times.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Butterfly Yellow

BUTTERFLY YELLOW

Winner of the BookBrowse Award for Best Young Adult Novel, and the overall highest rated book of the year!

Enter

Wordplay

The Big Holiday Wordplay

Enter Now

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.