Daniel Alarcón

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Daniel Alarcón
Daniel Alarcón, Santiago International Book Fair, 2018
Daniel Alarcón, Santiago International Book Fair, 2018
Lima, Peru
OccupationWriter, Journalist
NationalityPeru, United States

Daniel Alarcón (born March 5,1977 in Lima, Peru) is a Peruvian-American author. He has been a distinguished visiting writer at Mills College and a visiting writer at California College of the Arts. In spring 2013, he was an investigative reporting fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. Currently, he is an assistant professor of broadcast journalism at Columbia University, his undergraduate alma mater.[1]

His work has been published in The New Yorker, Harper's, Granta, Virginia Quarterly Review and elsewhere, and anthologized in Best American Non-Required Reading 2004 and 2005. He is Associate Editor of the Peruvian magazine Etiqueta Negra, and he edited a portfolio for the magazine A Public Space on the writing of Peru in 2007. He is a former Fulbright Scholar to Peru, and a 2011 Artist in Residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts. His novel At Night We Walk in Circles was published by Riverhead Books in October 2013.


Alarcón, a native of Peru, was raised from the age of 3, in Birmingham, Alabama, and is an alumnus of Indian Springs School. As a high schooler, he attended the Telluride Association Summer Program.[2] He earned a bachelor's degree in anthropology from Columbia University in 1999 and a master of fine arts degree in fiction from the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 2004. He has studied in Ghana and taught in New York City. In his childhood he was a classmate of John Green.[3]

His first book, War by Candlelight, was a finalist for the 2006 PEN/Hemingway Foundation Award. In 2008, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lannan Fellowship, named a "Best Young American Novelist" by Granta magazine, and one of 39 under 39 Latin American Novelists.[4] In 2010, he was also recognized by the New Yorker as one of 20 promising writers under 40.

Alarcón's debut novel, Lost City Radio, was published 2007, and has been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Dutch, Greek, and is forthcoming in Italian, Serbian, Turkish, and Japanese. The German translation of Lost City Radio by Friedericke Meltendorf received the International Literature Award from the Haus der Kulturen der Welt. In 2009, he published a collection of short stories, El rey está siempre por encima del pueblo (The king is always above the people), and the following year, "Ciudad de payasos", a graphic novel adapted from his 2003 story City of Clowns, with illustrations by Peruvian artist Sheila Alvarado.

In 2011, with partners Carolina Guerrero, Martina Castro and Annie Correal, he founded Radio Ambulante, a Spanish language podcast from NPR telling Latin American stories.

In 2013, his second novel, At Night We Walk in Circles, was published to critical acclaim.



  • War by Candlelight: Stories. Harper. 2005. ISBN 978-0-06059-478-7.
    • Translated to Spanish by Rayo: Guerra en la Penumbra in 2005 and by Alfaguara: Guerra à la Luz de las Velas 2006
  • Lost City Radio. Harper. 2007. ISBN 978-0-06059-479-4.
    • Translated to Spanish: Radio Ciudad Perdida, Alfaguara, 2007.
  • At Night We Walk in Circles. Riverhead Books. 2013. ISBN 978-1-59463-171-9.
  • The King Is Always Above the People. Riverhead Books. 2017. ISBN 978-1-59463-172-6.

Spanish language books[edit]

  • El Rey siempre está por encima del pueblo Editorial Sexto Piso, Mexico City, Mexico, 2009. Published also in Lima Peru by Editorial Seix Barral, Planeta, 2009

Short stories[edit]

Articles and criticism[edit]





External links[edit]