Daniel Alarcón (born 1977 in Lima, Peru) is a writer, journalist, radio producer, educator and magazine editor.
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 has served as a "Distinguished Visiting Writer", teaching graduate-level workshops at Mills College in Oakland, California and as associate editor of Etiqueta Negra, a monthly magazine based in Lima.
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.
Alarcón was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2021.
- Alarcón, Daniel (2003) "City of Clowns". The New Yorker.
- Alarcón, Daniel (2005) War by Candlelight. HarperCollins. ISBN 9780060594787
- Alarcón, Daniel (2007) Lost City Radio. HarperCollins. ISBN 9780060594794
- Alarcón, Daniel (2013) At Night We Walk in Circles. Riverhead Books. ISBN 9781594631719
- Alarcón, Daniel (2017) The King Is Always Above the People. Riverhead Books. ISBN 9781594631726
- 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." The Birmingham News
- "Daniel Alarcon" (December 1, 2006) Wikipedia - accessed December 7, 2006
- Specker, Lawrence (September 29, 2021) "‘Genius grant’ winner has Birmingham ties." The Birmingham News