Mauna Kea: A Novel of Hawaiʻi has received three honors from the prestigious Eric Hoffer Book Awards, including being shortlisted as a Finalist for the Eric Hoffer Grand Prize — the highest honor in their panoply of annual awards. The novel also received an Honorable Mention in the Hoffer General Fiction category, as well as being a da Vinci Eye Finalist for the book’s stunning cover art and design.

All Night Books, a new fiction imprint of Easton Studio Press in Connecticut, published Mauna Kea in October 2023 and shares these accolades with the author. David Wilk, the imprint’s founder, said, “We are proud to have published Tom’s Mauna Kea and gratified that the Eric Hoffer Award judges recognized not only the excellence of Tom’s storytelling and writing—and his deft illumination of the islands’ political and cultural issues—but also the beautiful cover that expresses the spirituality of Hawai’i so well. Those of us who can only visit that place through storytelling will find Mauna Kea to be one of the best evocations of what the islands really mean.”

A platform for and the champion of the independent voice . . .

Philosopher and author Eric Hoffer.

The annual Eric Hoffer awards are named for renowned philosopher and bestselling author Eric Hoffer, a San Francisco longshoreman and author of The True Believer, The Passionate State of Mind, Reflections on the Human Condition, and seven other influential books.

The Eric Hoffer Book Award was founded at the start of the 21st century (with permission from the Eric Hoffer Estate) to honor freethinking writers and independent books of exceptional merit, and since its inception, the Hoffer Award has grown to become one of the premiere international independent book awards. — Eric Hoffer Awards website

Only a small percentage of the 2,500 books nominated in 2024 made the judges’ “short list” of Grand Prize Finalists.

An Honorable Mention for fiction and praise for the cover!

In addition to choosing Mauna Kea as a Grand Prize Finalist, the Eric Hoffer judges gave the novel an Honorable Mention Award for their General Fiction category and characterized the novel this way:

A man haunted by his past finds himself and salvation on the most sacred volcano in Hawaii. Within this haunting and beautiful setting, a cast of compelling characters fleshes out the story. Much of the story is unearthed through the main character’s “mysterious past.” Can he be renewed and go forward in time?

The novel’s cover art and design were also recognized as an Eric Hoffer Finalist for The Da Vinci Eye Award, thanks to the exquisite cover design by Alexia Garaventa, its evocative front cover image “Lilinoe” by Volcano artist Catherine Robbins, and the beautiful pen-and-ink drawing on the back cover of a Hawaiian hawk (ʻio) by renowned nature artist John D. Dawson.

“America meant freedom and what is freedom? To Hoffer it is the capacity to feel like oneself. He felt like Eric Hoffer; sometimes like Eric Hoffer, working man. It could be said, I believe, that he was the first important American writer, working class born, who remained working class — in his habits, associations, environment. I cannot think of another. Therefore, he was a national resource. The only one of its kind in the nation’s possession.”

Eric Sevareid, CBS News correspondent and commentator, from his dedication speech to Eric Hoffer in San Francisco on September 17, 1985

From The Passionate State Of Mind, by Eric Hoffer (1955) . . .

“To most of us nothing is so invisible as an unpleasant truth. Though it is held before our eyes, pushed under our noses, rammed down our throats — we know it not.”

“Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind.”

“No one is truly literate who cannot read his own heart.”

“Compassion is probably the only antitoxin of the soul. Where there is compassion even the most poisonous impulses remain relatively harmless.”

For more information, or to arrange a media interview, please contact my Hawaiʻi publicist Amy Hammond or my literary agent Arnie Kotler.