Monday, March 05, 2007

Interview with Daniel Alarcon

Daniel Alarcón may be the model for a certain kind of future great American novelist. Born in Peru, raised in Alabama and educated at Columbia, Alarcón, 29, writes in English about events happening back home in his native Lima.

His debut novel, "Lost City Radio," depicts the trauma inflicted upon a society when its men and women "are disappeared." The tale takes its title from a popular radio show in what Alarcón calls "the provincial capital" of a fictional Latin American country. Each Sunday, the station broadcasts the names of the missing.

As the book begins, a boy travels from a remote village to the capital with a list of names to be read on air — and it turns out one of the names is one near and dear to the show's journalist host.

Alarcón, visiting New York from his home in Oakland, Calif., spoke about his novel just days before Granta magazine named him one of the 21 best young novelists in America.
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