Daniel Alarcón

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Daniel Alarcón (born 1977 in Lima, Peru) is a writer of fiction and non-fiction, and an associate editor of Etiqueta Negra, a monthly magazine based in Lima.

Alarcón's parents, Renato and Graciela, both doctors, moved with their five children to Birmingham in 1980. He attended the Creative Montessori school in Homewood, Advent Episcopal Day School, and Indian Springs School in Shelby County, graduating in 1995. During his school years he returned to Peru for frequent visits to family.

Alarcón went on to study anthropology at Columbia University, graduating in 1999. While there, he spent a semester abroad in Ghana and after graduation, he taught writing and photography to elementary school students in New York. In 2001 he returned to Peru on a Fulbright scholarship, creating demographic maps of impoverished neighborhoods. In 2003 he completed a course of study at the Iowa Writer's Workshop.

Alarcón’s work has been published in The New Yorker, Harper's, Virginia Quarterly Review and elsewhere, and has been anthologized in Best American Non-Required Reading for 2004 and 2005. He is currently the "Distinguished Visiting Writer", teaching graduate-level workshops at Mills College in Oakland, California.

Alarcón's story "City of Clowns" debuted in the June 16, 2003 issue of The New Yorker, to rave reviews. He received the 2004 Whiting Writer's Award for fiction. His 2005 collection of short stories War by Candlelight was a finalist for the 2006 PEN/Hemingway Foundation Award. The title story is based on the author's uncle, a political radical who went missing in 1989.

His latest novel, Lost City Radio, was published on January 30, 2007.


  • Alarcón, Daniel (June 16, 2003) "City of Clowns". The New Yorker.
  • Alarcón, Daniel (March 2005) War by Candlelight. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 9780060594787
  • Alarcón, Daniel (January 2007) Lost City Radio. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 9780060594794


  • Garcia, Elbert (March/April 2006) "Daniel Alarcón '99 Writes from Outside." Columbia College Today.
  • Harvey, Alec (April 1, 2007) "Indian Springs School alum finds success in literary world." Birmingham News.
  • "Daniel Alarcon." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 1 Dec 2006, 14:46 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 7 Dec 2006 [1].

External links