Daniel Alarcón

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Daniel Alarcón
Alarcón in 2018
Alarcón in 2018
Born (1977-03-05) March 5, 1977 (age 43)
Lima, Peru
OccupationWriter, journalist, radio producer
Alma materColumbia University
SpouseCarolina Guerrero
ChildrenLeón & Eliseo

Daniel Alarcón (born March 5, 1977 in Lima, Peru) is a novelist, journalist and radio producer. He is co-founder, host and executive producer of Radio Ambulante, an award-winning Spanish language podcast distributed by NPR. Currently, he is an assistant professor of broadcast journalism at the Columbia University Journalism School[1] and writes about Latin America for The New Yorker.

He began his career writing fiction, publishing stories in magazines like The New Yorker, Granta, Virginia Quarterly Review and elsewhere, and his short stories have been widely anthologized. He served as Associate Editor of the Peruvian magazine Etiqueta Negra until 2015. 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. His most recent story collection, The King is Always Above the People, was long-listed for the National Book Award in 2018, and won the 2019 Clarke Prize in Fiction.


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 been a public school teacher in New York City. He was a high school classmate of novelist 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, 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, he co-founded Radio Ambulante with his wife Carolina Guerrero, along with Camila Segura, Martina Castro and Annie Correal.

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. at night we walk in circles.
  • 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]