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Casting a brilliant light

By Dana Budzaj

Daniel Alarcón will read on Thursday, Oct. 21 in Angell Hall.

Daniel Alarcón (right), born in Lima, Peru and raised in the U.S. since the age of 3, shares glimpses into his heritage through his extraordinary storytelling.

The author of two works of fiction, “War by Candlelight” published in 2006 and “Lost City Radio” in 2007, Alarcón addresses many of the real issues present today in third world countries. He strives to bring to the forefront a realism of the quality of human life and the chaos accustom in many cities of the world that readers have never, and may never, imagine.

Alarcón will read 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21 in the Hopwood Room, 1176 Angell Hall.

His first book and finalist for the 2006 PEN/Hemingway Award, “War by Candlelight,” follows nine stories of wars waged, internally and externally, from the island of Manhattan to the streets of Lima that depicted a world amidst change by globalization.

In 2007, Alarcón followed with novel, “Lost City Radio,” that provided a real depth to war-torn history, focusing on not only the struggles of civil society, but also the emotional scarring to the people.

He has dedicated his most recent work to the phenomena of the growing book piracy business in Peru. In addition to his written work, Alarcón continues to keep ties with his native country as the associate editor of “Etiqueta Negra,” an award-wining monthly magazine in Lima.

In 2007, the journal Granta named Alarcón one of the Best Young American Novelists. He has won numerous prizes, including a Whiting Award (2004), Guggenheim and Lannan Fellowships (2007), National Magazine Award (2008), and International Literature Prize (2009). His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Harper’s, The New Yorker, Granta, and the Virginia Quarterly Review.

Alarcón earned his Bachelors degree in Anthropology from Columbia University and a Masters from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Currently, he lives in Oakland, California, where he is the Distinguished Visiting Writer at Mills College and Visting Scholar at the Center for Latin American Studies at University of California Berkeley.

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