Lost City Radio by Daniel Alarcon

Topics: Latin America, Novel, United States Pages: 5 (1897 words) Published: April 1, 2013
Lost City Radio
Lost City Radio by Daniel Alarcon is gripping tale about a Latin American country before, during, and after a civil war. Although it is never fully explained, he describes the war in intermittent details, going back and forth while staying in the present. The story is wrought with love, filled with passion and enveloped in deception. Only the omnipotent narrator knows what the truth is and where things might go. Daniel Alarcon creates a beautiful and disturbing world in which the characters thrive, each fueling the other in an amoebic fashion that keeps the reader on their toes. Through his non-linear plot development, Alarcon is able to tell the harrowing tale of a small radio station and its personality, Norma.

Daniel Alarcon is the critically acclaimed author of a few novels, most notably Lost City Radio. He was born in Lima, Peru in 1977 but at the age of three, he and his family moved to the United States to the southern city of Birmingham, Alabama. At his private high school, Indian Springs, Alarcon began to develop a writing style that seemed to be rather unique. By keeping close to his Peruvian roots, he was able to create essays of note and eventually make his way to Colombia University where he earned a bachelor's degree in Anthropology. It is apparent through his later writings that this decision to pursue anthropology, as opposed to an English credential, allows Alarcon to give a historical perspective that not many other writers can give. He is able to convey a message that is more analytical than mere fiction. Daniel Alarcon eventually made his way to the Iowa Writer's Workshop where he earned his master's degree and from there, he was able to do a semester abroad in Ghana. At the end of his studies, he taught a few classes in New York City both on English and a class on writing. Throughout his later years as a student, Daniel Alarcon began writing his first book, War by Candlelight. Immediately, Alarcon was accepted into the writing community with open arms, a luxury that is afforded to only a few. In 2006, his book made him a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Foundation Award. Soon after, Daniel Alarcon released his first novel Lost City Radio which gained velocity at an incredible rate among the collegiate community. In 2008, he was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lannan Fellowship, named a "Best Young American Novelist" by Granta magazine, and one of 39 under 39 Latin American Novelists. Most notably, Daniel Alarcon was recognized by the New Yorker as one of 20 promising writers under 40. Among his many works, Alarcon's Lost City Radio has the greatest fan base and has won the most acclaim. It has been translated into multiple languages and has even won an award in Germany through its German translator, Friedericke Meltendorf. It has even inspired a real radio show called Radio Ambulante, a Spanish language podcast that tells Latin American stories. Lost City Radio proves itself time and time again to be a fictional story of truth that only someone like Daniel Alarcon, with his background and literary skill, could have written.

The story begins with Norma, a radio station personality who hosts a show called Lost City Radio. In this Latin American country, there was a civil war between the oppressive government and a liberating faction known simply as the IL. After the war ended, and the government won, many people were lost, either by kidnapping by the government or just lost in the chaos. Lost City Radio is designed to reunite these estranged families and create a sense of hope among the living. Norma is unwillingly put high on a pedestal and worshipped in an almost prophet-like manner. After the introduction of Victor, the story begins to unravel with a seemingly endless series of plot twists and mystery that keeps the reader thoroughly engaged. Victor has with him a list of names from his village of people who have been lost and has been sent, with his now missing teacher and...
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