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The King Is Always Above the People

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About the Author

Daniel Alarcon was born in Lima, Peru, in 1977 and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. His collection of short stories, `War By Candlelight', was published in 2005 to great acclaim, and was followed by a novel, `Lost City Radio', in 2007. His writing has appeared in `McSweeney's', `n+1', and `Harper's', and he has been named one of the 20 best writers under 40 by the `New Yorker. He lives in Oakland, California. `At Night We Walk in Circles' is his second novel.


`A collection that dazzles with allegorical power and satire' New Statesman `There's a quiet moment in Abraham Lincoln Has Been Shot - one of the more ambitious stories in Daniel Alarcon's memorable new collection - when Hank, who is splitting up with his boyfriend, ponders that: "The place you are born is simply the first place you flee." Which is a neat way to describe how so many of Alarcon's characters operate in The King Is Always Above The People. Time and time again, young men are forced to leave home, learning something about themselves, freedom and the ties of family. They do so in beautifully intimate ways that surely reflect this Peruvian-American's experience producing the Radio Ambulante podcast, a kind of This American Life for the Spanish-speaking world; in similar ways the stories here take on huge issues such as migration, isolation, poverty and war through personal, lived experience rather than using broad brushstrokes. What's equally impressive is that although the tone is even throughout, the medium is refreshingly varied' Observer `Alarcon's beautiful collection explores the ways we construct new lives from the debris left by historical injustice. Subtly exploring the boundaries between the personal and political...a book about migrant fathers and the world they bestow on their sons ... Daniel Alarcon seems to suggest, we are all migrants trying to build a home before dawn' Carlos Fonseca, TLS `His preoccupations include migration, poverty, conflict and displacement, and in both his fiction and his journalism he reflects on how the boundary between North America and Latin America - whatever Donald Trump may do to make it concrete - is becoming increasingly porous...Alarcon is hardly the first writer to examine the crisis of masculinity, but he's unusually alive to the ways that it is bound up with uncertainty about political and national identity' Henry Hitchings, Financial Times

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