Friday, March 23, 2007

Interview with Daniel Alarcón

This is the world Daniel Alarcón has created in his first novel, Lost City Radio. Born in Peru but raised in Birmingham, Ala., Alarcón often visited relatives in Lima when the Peruvian troops were engaged by the guerilla outfit, Shining Path.
Even now, he cannot completely fathom what happened.
"To a certain extent, it's unimaginable to me," he says. "I've gone back to collect the stories and talk to people, but I haven't lived through these things I described. The process of writing the story - it was all about keeping myself in it, in that world. ... And I agree, it's not necessarily a world I want to hang out in."
Nevertheless, it was a story he felt compelled to write. The title refers to a radio program in which the names of missing people are read. Norma is the beguiling host. Her voice is "her greatest asset, her career and her fate," bringing hope to people desperate to find their lost loved ones.
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