Berkeley Arts & Letters presents Daniel Alarcon / The King is Always Above the People
From the beginning of his career, Daniel Alarcón proved he was a distinct and masterful storyteller. His first story collection, War by Candlelight, was a finalist for the 2006 PEN-Hemingway Award and was hailed by the award committee as a thrillingly fiery debut, and by critics as the arrival of a major literary talent. These stories have endured over the years, touching new readers and deepening in their impact. In 2015, Alarcón collaborated with renowned Peruvian artist Sheila Alvarado, who gorgeously rendered one of these stories, City of Clowns, into a captivating graphic form, giving Alarcóns prose a breathtaking new dimension (NPR) and adding layers of richness and depth to the storys power (Booklist).
Alarcóns first novel, Lost City Radio, won the 2009 International Literature Prize given by the House of World Culture in Berlin. His next novel, At Night We Walk in Circles, in 2013, was a PEN/Faulkner Fiction Award finalist, a California Book Award Finalist and was named one of the best books of the year by NPR, among others. Since then, Radio Ambulantethe award-winning Spanish language narrative radio program and podcast that Alarcón executive produces and hostshas been picked up by NPR, which now distributes their groundbreaking stories to an even greater audience around the world. At the same time, Alarcón teaches at Columbias Journalism School and continues to write high-profile reporting pieces for places like Harpers, The New Yorker and New York Times Magazineone of which earned him a nomination for the National Magazine Award. And on top of all this, Alarcón brilliantly translates important bodies of work from Spanish, including this summers celebrated memoir, The Book of Emma Reyes, the posthumously published account of a Colombian womans harrowing childhood.
Since originally publishing his first story collection, Daniel Alarcóns profile has grown tremendously, having amazed readers and critics alike with his unprecedented literary and journalistic achievements. But whether he is writing fiction, reporting on the ground, or narrating on the radio, it is the story that is fundamental to all of Alarcóns work and his commitment to sharing urgent and under-represented worlds and characters with English readers. Now, over a decade since his first collection, and the world a very different place, Alarcón returns to the Bay Area to read from his second: The King is Always Above the People.
Daniel Alarcón is the author of At Night We Walk in Circles, which was a finalist for the 2014 Pen-Faulkner Award, as well as the story collection War by Candlelight, the novel Lost City Radio, and the graphic novel City of Clowns. His writing has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, Granta, n+1, and Harpers, and he was named one of the New Yorkers 20 Under 40. He is Executive Producer of Radio Ambulante, distributed by NPR, and is an assistant professor of broadcast journalism at the Columbia University School of Journalism in New York.
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